Will Dish Network stream movies?
Now that the satellite TV provider has won the fire-sale auction for bankrupt Blockbuster, an online movie catalog could be in the works.
Ask subscribers to Dish Network (DISH) why they choose the satellite television provider, and the most common answer is likely to be cost. Dish is cheaper than major cable providers like Comcast (CMCSA) and satellite rival DirecTV (DTV), starting at just $24.99 a month.
But things might not continue to be so simple now. Dish announced early Wednesday that it has bought the defunct library of the one-time movie-rental powerhouse Blockbuster for $320 million at auction, a deal that could present another big reason consumers will buy into Dish: a digital library of movies they can access over the Internet, akin to Netflix.
The purchase of Blockbuster is an important strategic shift for Dish. It means the company is flexing its muscle in an attempt to become a major player.
But more importantly for consumers, it may mean more viewing options and competitive pricing for consumers. Blockbuster's online content library could give Dish Network an opportunity to create an online product to supplement the viewing experience akin to Netflix's offering mail-order DVDs alongside streaming content.
That's just speculation, but it would align with the overall goal of Dish Network to provide a top-notch experience even as it is seen as a low-cost option. In recent years, the network has expanded HD offerings, on-demand movies and channel selection to make quality a bigger part of the equation.
- Related Article: Netflix to Stream Original Programs
And now that Dish Network has snapped up Blockbuster and its content, customers may find many more reasons to like Dish than just the smaller monthly bill. That means rivals had better take notice in the wake of the $320 million bankruptcy sale.
Of course, it is going to be an uphill battle for Dish. Netflix (NFLX) now has 20 million viewers, and its stock has skyrocketed more than 700% in the past five years.
DirecTV revenue for 2011 is slated for $26.5 billion -- growth of more than 50% from fiscal 2006 -- and the stock has soared more than 180% in the past five years. This growth isn't anything to sneeze at.
By contrast, Dish has been left out of the party. Shares and revenue haven't shown much action over the past five years. The company has been soundly profitable, but Dish has clearly been a secondary player in a secondary television provider market.
- Related Article: Facebook May Enter Streaming Movie Biz
Still, the purchase of Blockbuster and the $1.4 billion purchase of hybrid satellite-land-line communications provider DBSD North America earlier this year mean Dish is flexing its muscle. Likely results could be more viewing options and competitive pricing for consumers, and the chance that DISH stock could break out of its slump.
Obviously, no one should count chickens before they are hatched. The winning bid must still be approved by a bankruptcy court Thursday, and Dish clearly has a long way to go. Entrenched cable giants like Comcast are digging in, Netflix is the undisputed king of online content and is rolling out original Netflix programming, and satellite leader DirecTV isn't going to give up any of its 19 million-plus subscribers without a fight.
But moving sideways for another five years just isn't an option if Dish Network wants to stay around. The timing and fire-sale price of Blockbuster assets make the move a smart one, regardless of whether it pays off.
New Customer? Here, free HD for life, multiple HDDVR receivers at no extra charge, free channels tossed in.
Existing long term loyal customer? Want Free HD for life? sure you can get that, pay us $100 (ya that means it isn't free). You need an extra HD reciever because even though your reciever is HD and can run 2 TV's only one is HD, Sorry, unlike the new customers, that is a bunch extra. We know you are a loyal customer, and we appreciate your business by giving you a big screw off!!!
After reading several comments, I believe I may be able to educate the general public. I have been an installer of satellite tv services since the early 90's. Having dealt with such systems as C-Band, L-Band, Ku/Ka Band, and the like.since 1994/95, DirecTV has been the flagship DBS company. Dish Network was soon to follow. A rental-only system named Primestar was introduced, to those who lacked the "up-front cost" of the two other entities. DirecTV, seeking to absorb that demographic, launched an ad campaign to "transfer to DirecTV from Primestar".
This plan promised to keep costs down while providing superior service overall. When this occurred, Primestar had no choice but to concede. The most advantageous of customer bases had to be those which resided in rural areas. so DirecTV , after cornering yet another niche market, was a success. Now, flash-forward to HDTV. Another mysterious enigma, indeed. Most laypeople are unaware of the following; The ONLY free television signal,(read; legal) which is not compressed , or adulterated, (resulting in resolution loss, audio dropouts, etc) is from a terrestrial antenna!! Ta-Dah! Yes, those old, rusty, ugly mechanical anomalies, are, despite their appearance, the industry leader in technical specifications for HDTV. Granted, one has to factor in the demographics when considering MATV systems. The disadvantages include; antiquated equipment ( fairly inexpensive to upgrade), poor physical location,(trees, radio inteference,etc), and lastly, misinformation. While MATV systems lack the quantity of channels offered by CATV systems, Cable TV lobbyists have long been hyping their wares to many deep-pocketed entities all the while duping the public of simple physics. A little education may shed some light on this subject. Netflix has been stamped on many fronts as of late. XBox, PlayStation 3, etc. If the product works, use it. Well, from personal experience, although I was mildly impressed with the selection, the mechanics of streaming online media have a few bugs not yet worked out. My 50 year old eyes, could certainly tell the difference, The signal quality from Netflix is deplorable. I'd sooner drag my VHS collection from the attic. I hope this provides insight to those unaware. The toughest part of being a satellite customer is indeed the service. All to many times the service technician goes unappreciated. These governing entities see things merely by numbers. They will make techs absorb the cost of their time, even when it is a system issue,(which it often IS) Nobody's perfect, but they'll keep selling that idea!! Cheers! " Bob the Tech "
I have had Dish for a little less than 2 years. I signed a 2 year contract and 9 months in my rates went up significantly. When trying to get tech support you have to weed through the language barrier. They can't venture off the script but the most upsetting thing is that they try to tell that they are Randy from Illinois when in actuality you know they are Raj from India. It's the most frustrating thing I've had to encounter. When I complained about the contract issue I was met with a rude person that basically told me to go to hell. We finally decided to end the contract, I was told to return the equipment at my own expense. I asked for the nearest center in my area and was told that there wasn't any. That was a bit strange because I didn't install the dish or the boxes someone from DISH did. Needless to say I have a little over 3 more months on the contract and when it's up it's up.
Every time I see the DISH CEO on TV I just want to GAG!!!! Stay away!!!
you are so wrong. Blockbuster content is unique. Their library is far larger than Netflix, their streaming is far superior and you can get games as well as movies. Does NF offer games? So before you spout your ignorant statements please check your facts!
We got rid of satellite last year. We couldnt justify 80 bucks a month for the service. We bought Roku boxes that paid for themselves in 2 months and stream Netflix and Hulu Plus and have a digital antenna for local channels. It was a bit of an adjustment not having a DVR but we really arent missing anything and it is only costing us 23 bucks a month now instead of 80+.
Cable or satellite just keeps getting more expensive and they arent doing any favors to their subscribers. I know that Dish has to do somethng to compete but if more people get educated about other options like streaming, more and more people are going to get rid of cable and satellite.
I wonder about movie theatres and their demise. It is getting so expensive to go to the movies. What if you could pay say 15 bucks to stream and watch a premiere movie in HD on the Friday it comes out in your own home on your home theatre system? Why go to the theatre - pop your own popcorn, get your own group of people together for a movie watching party, pause it is you had to - it would change the whole social experience of movie watching.
Satellite TV is better than Cable. I have had Dish for 10 years and never had the problems I experienced with Cable. I have heard good things about DirectTV from people I know who have it. I went with Dish because it was cheaper than DirectTV.
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