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Dish’s upcoming internet TV service to target cord cutters and “cord haters”

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Dish (S DISH) wants to make inroads with people who are fed up with traditional pay TV with its upcoming internet-based TV service, said the company’s GM of Interactive and Advanced TV Adam Lowy at the TV of Tomorrow Show in San Francisco Wednesday. “Cord cutters, cord nevers and what we call cord haters” will be the target audience of the new service, said Lowy.

Dish announced a deal with Disney (S DIS) in March to deliver live TV through a new service, and Lowy said Wednesday that his company is talking to all the networks that it also carries over its traditional satellite service about licensing their content for the new venture. Dish is currently working on setting up technical infrastructure to launch the service, which will initially be based on Dish’s existing infrastructure, but eventually be moved over to an all-IP infrastructure, Lowy said. “All this is being moved very fast,” he added.

Lowy didn’t give any details on additional content agreements, but Fox (S NWS) Network SVP of Distribution Strategy and Development Sherry Brennan said that her company would like to sell its networks through all and any of these new services. Brennan admitted that some of the rights issues around content still have to be sorted out, but she argued that in the end, it wouldn’t matter to Fox whether its programming would get to consumers through a traditional or an internet-based TV service. “A pay TV operator is just a pay TV operator,” she said.

Of course, there’s going to be one big difference: An internet-based service isn’t necessarily bundled with internet access from any existing provider, which will make it a whole lot easier for consumers to cancel the service and switch to a competing offering. “At any time, if you don’t pay, it’s over,” admitted Lowy, which is why he argued that the service would have to get it right in the first place, and be better than existing TV services. “The consumer is gonna win out in the end,” he said.

Lowy made these remarks on a panel that also featured Eric Fitzgerald Reed, VP of Entertainment and Tech Policy at Verizon (S VZ) Communications. Verizon bought Intel’s OnCue internet TV service earlier this year, but recent remarks by Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam have cast doubts on the company’s plans to actually launch a full-blown TV service.

McAdam recently said during an investor call that content rights for a linear TV service would be too expensive. Notably, OnCue boss Erik Huggers left the company two weeks after these remarks. Asked whether he could clarify Verizon’s plans for OnCue, Reed replied: “I don’t want to subscribe to just one particular business model right now.”

Image courtesy of (CC-BY-SA) Flickr user joe.ross.

11 Responses to “Dish’s upcoming internet TV service to target cord cutters and “cord haters””

  1. Disruptive Innovation…..the way that the economy moves in leaps! The change fearing, traditionalists, those that see pragmatism as the way to make things happen view business as one of cost leadership, focus and/or differentiation….ie: sustaining innovations. History, however, shows us that those who disruptively innovate, who attack the status quo eventually create the environment of “disrupt or get disrupted”. Consider the loss of mainframe computing as a business model as PC’s rolled onto the landscape. The inversion of the labor pool when word processing and voice mail took over businesses and almost every secretary vanished within four years. Smartphones, LED’s, battery technology, disc drives, food distribution etc, Everything you own or are considering buying is the result of disruptive innovation. Cable was once the disruptive innovation that railed against broadcast TV. It was purchased for two reasons: increased variety and relief from commercials. Of those two factors…I would submit that both fail miserably in today’s product and the only ‘value add’ is the pipeline to the last mile of the interweb. Sooner, I suspect, or later the current cable business model will crash and burn. The number of competing entertainment services is increasing daily, Aero, Hulu, Vimeo, Netflix, Amazon and 100’s of others currently serving up programming. Chip, chip, chipping away one axe swing at a time. The next horizon will be met with the tumble of cable and the merger of several of these services into a new paradigm of products.

  2. My big question is, how would DISH differentiate its offering from the online content that most content providers already offer? What incentive does the customer have to subscribe when a lot of the content is already available no-cost? And since DISH can’t control internet bandwidth, or especially the bandwidth of any particular customer, there is no longer any guaranteed quality. This will be an interesting, if not dubious, experiment.

  3. Steve Symonds

    Another journalistic fail folks. This reads like a press release from Echostar. If someone from this digital rag had two brain cells to rub together they’d realize that the Tier 1 Programmers are NOT going to allow DISH to become the first Virtual MSO. NFW.

  4. Scott Gilbert

    I can’t stop laughing. If you are getting your TV over the internet and paying for the service, it’s still “cable” even though it comes by the web instead of a coaxial cable. Oh, wait, most people get their internet through a coaxial cable. So then you’d be getting your “cable TV” over the internet through a cable accessed by a cable provider.

    Yep, I just can’t stop laughing at this article.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Although where they could come up with something is if they can offer if you get this app you can get these channels and break up the monopoly of all the channels and make it more of a selection process. However its the government that is not allowing cable companies to let you pick only the channels you want.

    • Steve Symonds

      There is a big difference between sending video with a closed network to a STB and using the public Internet to transport it to a subscriber. A Very Big Difference. The Subscriber may not give a hoot, but the Programmers are scared out of their minds about their content going onto the public Internet for last mile distribution. Needless fear/paranoia, mind you…but that’s what’s going on.