Dish Network will be joining Comcast, Time Warner Cable and others in offering online video services along with its pay-TV packages. But with the launch of its new TV Everywhere initiative, the satellite TV provider could add a component that others haven’t yet enabled: that of allowing its subscribers to access on-demand video on multiple devices.
Like other pay-TV providers, Dish’s TV Everywhere service is designed to give its subscribers access to online content from cable networks they already pay for. By authenticating users, Dish can ensure that households that subscribe to HBO, for instance, will be able to view content from that premium cable network. The satellite TV provider plans to roll out the online version of its service in a private beta first, but could have a formal launch by September, according to an interview with Bruce Eisen, Dish Network’s vice president of online content development and strategy, that appeared in Multichannel News. Eisen didn’t specify which content partners would be working with Dish, except to say that “the goal is to have everybody participating.”
While most other cable firms looking to enable TV Everywhere services have done so with websites that can be accessed by PCs, Dish may enable its content to be viewed on multiple devices. To do so, the satellite provider has chosen Widevine for DRM, adaptive streaming and video optimization for the upcoming service. Since Widevine’s technology is embedded in a number of consumer electronics devices — including TVs, Blu-ray players and mobile devices — Dish could enable these broadband services to a number of devices in the home or on the go.
Prior to announcing plans for its TV Everywhere service, Dish had released a DVR with Sling Media technology built in, enabling Dish customers to watch live and recorded TV that they’ve already paid for from PCs and mobile devices such as the iPhone and BlackBerrys.
Dish’s TV Everywhere plans follow similar rollouts by Comcast and Rogers Communications, which formally launched their TV Everywhere services last December. Meanwhile, companies like Time Warner Cable, AT&T, DirecTV and others are treading more gently into offering online versions of their paid video services.
While distributors are spearheading many of the technical rollouts of TV Everywhere services, some cable networks are working on enabling TV Everywhere themselves. Most notable are Epix, which came to market with a premium cable network that has an online video component, and HBO, which launched its HBO Go service in February.
Related content on GigaOM Pro:
The Paradox of Thinking Outside the (Set-Top) Box (subscription required)