Just a couple of days after signing a landmark multiscreen streaming pact with Disney, Dish Network has added another video screen to the roster of portable devices that it can serve.
Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH), the third-largest US pay-TV provider with nearly 14.1 million satellite TV subscribers, has rolled out a TV Everywhere app for Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN)'s popular Kindle Fire HDX tablets. The "Dish Anywhere" app allows Dish customers with its Hopper service and Sling DVRs to stream live TV shows and movies, recorded programming, and video-on-demand content from their DVRs to their tablets for viewing both inside and outside the home.
Previously, Dish offered the TV Everywhere app for Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone and iPad and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android-powered smartphones and tablets. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, the company announced the integration of the Hopper Transfers feature with its Dish Anywhere app, enabling customers to sling content from their DVRs to their mobile devices even when no Internet connections are available.
With the move, Dish thus becomes the third major US pay-TV provider, and the first satellite TV operator, to serve the Kindle Fire tablets. Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) started the trend in 2012 and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) joined the Kindle club in December. Other major MSOs, telcos, and DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV) are all likely to follow suit.
Like Dish, most pay-TV providers began their multiscreen push gingerly by focusing on Apple's highly popular iPad and iPhone devices. But now, with Android smartphones and tablets, video-game consoles, Kindle Fire tablets, and other mobile devices making a big dent in the multiscreen market as well, they have started spreading the wealth around.
For example, TWC now streams live and recorded programming to seven different video platforms -- Apple's iOS devices, Google's Android devices, PCs, Macs, Roku Inc. 's streaming media boxes, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s Xbox 360 consoles, and Amazon's Kindle Fires. As a result, the US's second-largest MSO boasted in a jolly pre-Christmas blog that it now has "nearly as many platforms for delivering quality content as Santa has reindeer." (See TW Cable Says: Just Keep Streaming.)
The expansion of its roster of mobile devices will make it easier for Dish to launch its much-anticipated over-the-top (OTT) video service with the Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) and other major programmers. The satellite TV provider took a huge step in that direction earlier this week by signing a sweeping pact with Disney that will allow Dish to become the first US pay-TV provider to stream ESPN, Disney Channel, ABC, ABC Family, and other popular Disney-owned networks to mobile devices inside and outside the home. (See No Mickey Mouse Deal for Dish.)
Still to be determined, however, is the economic model for delivering such an OTT service to consumers. Service and content providers are continuing to haggle over that economic model and how the potential revenues would get split. That will be one of the biggest issues to watch over the rest of the year
— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading