Looks like Dish had good reason to give up automated ad skipping in a retrans deal with Disney. The satellite provider just won the rights to include ABC and ESPN in an online TV service.

Dish and Disney confirmed a Wall Street Journal report that they’ve reached a retransmission agreement late Monday, and they did so with a bang: Not only does the agreement force Dish to turn off automated ad skipping for ABC shows, it also gives Dish the rights to include ABC and ESPN programming “as part of an Internet delivered, IP-based multichannel offering,” according to a press release.

In other words: Dish just leapfrogged Verizon, Sony and others and sealed a deal with ABC to launch an internet-based TV service. There have been rumors for a while that Dish was looking to launch such a service, in part because it would help the company to address customers unwilling or unable to access satellite TV.

Dish isn’t entering the race to create internet TV unprepared: The company already operates DishWorld, an internet-based subscription service for foreign-language TV from India, Vietnam, China and other countries that primarily targets expats, and is available through Roku and other devices.

DishWorld has long been Dish’s online TV testbed, and Geoff Campbell, VP of online strategy for DISH Digital, told me last year that Dish was closely observing DishWorld to learn for future ventures. “There will be implications from what we are doing for domestic programs,” he said at the time — and with ABC on board, one should expect that DishWorld is getting even more attention these days.

Dish photo courtesy of (CC BY 2.0) Flickr user Dave Lindblom.

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  1. Nikato Muirhead Monday, March 3, 2014

    Wait until the dongle for vip 922 and hopper come. The plan is no more line of site issues. Dish will pump out the bandwidth and put their programs on the spectrum

  2. Bruno Pisano Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    Thanks for information.
    Great article.

  3. Still relies on you ISP to deliver decent bandwidth at AFFORDABLE prices.

    1. For now. Dish has been buying all the terrestrial spectrum it can, probably in anticipation of an LTE play like the one they’re testing in south Texas, or the wireless broadband test they performed in Virginia: http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/17/dish-and-sprint-to-trial-fixed-lte-broadband-in-texas/

      Then, they can just skip your ISP for their IP-based or OTT plays.

  4. This deal could put Comcast in a REALLY tight spot. If other broadcasters follow Disney’s lead here, NBCU can’t afford to be seen as a holdout, as that might raise the ire of regulators and put the kibosh on the Comcast-TWC deal. An IPTV service might also allow Charlie Ergen to claim that Comcast’s data caps are anti-competitive. Wouldn’t THAT be interesting?


  5. Spot on Brady and Dave, couldn’t agree more.

  6. This is more anti-ala carte crap and ensures I wont ever do business with Dish! TV just doesnt offer that much value to warrant this.

  7. richardgarrison Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    Two of biggest perks – no more sling required to view TV anywhere in USA and potential unlimited storage for DVR. Long term perk is the potential to eliminate satellites for individual home reception as the technology no longer makes sense and is a major waste of bandwidth. The big limitation is the bandwidth caps imposed by ISPs.

  8. Nikato Muirhead Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    Make no mistake Dish will provide its own bandwith, for connecting their receivers wit its own 4g network

  9. Dont’ see Dish as a long-term competitor.

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