Sooner or later someone is going to offer pay TV channels over
the Net. Aero is offering live TV over the Net, but only
channels that are locally broadcast, although it has recently
added some OTT content.
The satco Dish Network is talking to several pay TV networks
about offering content from their channels over the Net,
according to Bloomberg.com, which mentioned Viacom’s MTV, the
Spanish-language Univision and Scripps Networks Interactive,
which owns the Food Network and HGTV. Bloomberg.com said its
source is five people who are familiar with the plan.
Dish owns Blockbuster, the once powerhouse DVD rental chain.
The number of its retail stores has declined severely, but
Dish is trying to become an OTT service much like Apple,
Netflix and Amazon.
The report said that the Dish online service would offer the
channels only to PCs, tablets and smartphones — no TV sets —
at a relatively low price.
Dish has another motivation. It would like to get away from
the pricey deals it has to make on sports. Disney’s ESPN, the
most popular sports channel of them all, reportedly charges
the pay TV services over $5 per subscriber. ESPN’s agreements
with the pay TV services require them to include ESPN in their
most popular tier.
The move could presage a day when entertainment delivery more
clearly splits into two parts:
– Live TV for sports, news and some interactive game shows
– OTT for all other
Dish chairman Charlie Ergen recently said there will come a
day when a pay-TV company chooses not to include sports in
order to charge $10 to $20 per month less than competitors. So
far, he has not shown the way.
One major infrastructure problem that currently exists is
broadband’s inability to simultaneously stream a separate HD
video to every home, much less multiple streams to each home.
Disney’s Anne Sweeney Touts Company’s OTT Services
– And YouTube
– Says iOS App Recharacterizes the Whole Idea of a TV Network
The studios and TV networks increasingly know that OTT
delivery of their shows could be a godsend, especially to
millions of mobile users that do not have a TV in front of
Disney Media Networks co-chair and Disney/ABC Television Group
president Anne Sweeney said clearly the biggest opportunity to
increase video consumption growth today is OTT services such
as ABC network’s own Web sites and Google’s YouTube, in a
report in the Hollywood Reporter. She was speaking at a Royal
Television Society conference.
She made it clear that Disney and its ABC are thinking about
their own Web sites, not Netflix or Amazon’s. The only site
outside of Disney and ABC that she mentioned is the free
YouTube, praising it for being “incredibly useful” in
attracting new audiences. She said it’s using YouTube to add
viewers to ABC TV’s Jimmy Kimmel talk show.
Sweeney defended the use of Hulu, which it partially owns, as
an “an opportunity to broaden our audience for ABC content”
because Hulu gets a broader, more diverse audience.
She said Disney will continue to aggressively push its content
to new digital platforms, finding new ways for consumers to
access its programming.
The ABC player app for Apple devices has been downloaded 6.5
million times and attracted 135 million views, the story said.
That app is about to take advantage of a digital shift that,
Sweeney said, “Recharacterizes the whole idea of a television
network.” She said, “The value of the television network is
partly tradition, serving as a navigation device and as a