Satellite TV provider Dish Network is building a destination website for subscribers to log into and view on-demand content from cable networks they already pay for, according to the New York Times. The new site, DishOnline.com, will follow similar efforts from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon and others as they roll out TV Everywhere services online that are designed to augment users’ existing pay TV subscriptions.
DishOnline.com will have a mix of free clips that anyone can view and full-length programming only viewable by Dish subscribers once they’ve authenticated with the service. In that way, the site is similar to Comcast’s Fancast website, which has a wide range of content from content providers available for free, but also has an authentication system that lets users view TV episodes and movies from premium cable channels such as HBO, TBS and TNT. Early programmers to sign up for the Dish Network include Discovery Channel, HGTV and MTV, according to the NY Times.
Bruce Eisen, Dish Network’s vice president of online content development and strategy, had told Multichannel News earlier this year about plans for a TV Everywhere service to be launched in 2010. Unlike similar offerings from Comcast and others that only allow viewers to watch shows online, Dish Network’s offering is expected to have a multi-platform component. That would give users the ability to watch content on mobile devices, and possibly through Internet-connected devices like TVs and Blu-ray players.
In addition to launching DishOnline.com, the satellite TV provider will allow subscribers to view linear and recorded TV online and on mobile devices via a new set-top box that has Sling Media’s place-shifting technology built in. By purchasing or leasing the new ViP922 SlingLoaded DVR, viewers can watch live TV from their homes that’s beamed over the Internet on the web or through applications for the iPhone and BlackBerry mobile devices. Dish also has plans to roll out an iPad app and support for Android mobile devices later this year.
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