New reports are coming in that US satellite TV giant Dish Network is planning to launch an over-the-top (OTT) video service similar to BSkyB’s ‘Now TV’ in the UK, with Bloomberg now reporting that Dish is in talks with studios including Viacom, Univision and Scripps Networks Interactive.
Citing two executives “familiar with the situation”, the reports state that Viacom is looking to sell smaller bundles of its networks (which include MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central) at a higher rate per-channel, and that Dish’s putative new OTT service is shaping up to be the perfect home for them.
However, sports rights may be a thorny issue here: the new service may struggle if it lacks popular sports programming such as from ESPN. Also, the omission of online video from Nielsen ratings may prove problematic in discussions with ad agencies.
These rumours follow speculation from investment research house Zacks last week which suggested that major satellite TV operator DISH Network (the second-largest pay-TV operator in the US) is planning to launch an over-the-top (OTT) video service targeting younger viewers.
UK satellite operator BSkyB launched a service earlier this year called ‘Now TV’ which will eventually offer pay-as-you-go access to a vast selection of its linear content (including premium sports, drama and movies), whilst avoiding the need for a satellite dish (and lengthy contract).
DISH already operates an OTT service in other parts of the world called DISHWorld, which launched last May on the Roku streaming player.