Dish Tries to Get One Over Netflix

Streaming video deals, legal skirmishes and a group of upset Hollywood bigwigs dominate today's cable news roundup.

  • Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) cut a deal to offer HBO Go and Max Go, giving its subs the same online content that is available to major service providers such as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), but the the new owner of Blockbuster Inc. decided to play up the fact that its subs now have access to a bunch of content that Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) doesn't. (See Verizon Gets First Taste of 'HBO GO' Portal , HBO to Premiere New Series on Web and Dish's Latest Buy Is a Blockbuster .)

  • Verizon added 192,000 FiOS TV and 207,000 FiOS Internet subs in the first quarter. (See Verizon Reports Q1.)

  • Hulu LLC is blocking owners of the new BlackBerry BlackBerry PlayBook tablet. (See Hulu Blocks Hillcrest Again .)

  • James Cameron and many other big-name directors urged Hollywood studios and pay-TV distributors to kill new premium VoD products like DirecTV Group Inc. (NYSE: DTV)'s "Home Premiere" VoD service, warning that allowing viewers to watch movies at home 60 days after their release for US$30 will force theaters to close.

  • BTIG Research Analyst Richard Greenfield, meanwhile, argues that The National Association of Theater Owners is "making a fundamental mistake by fighting technology" with their frightened position on premium VoD and likened them to bunch of old fogies that need to get with the times.

  • Comcast expanded the reach of its Internet2Go WiMax service in Washington, D.C.; and Baltimore the week after its wireless partners, Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) and Clearwire LLC (Nasdaq: CLWR), forged a new wholesale deal. (See Sprint Gives Clearwire $1B Boost.)

  • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) attorneys told Roku Inc. to get rid of an unlicensed YouTube Inc. channel on its over-the-top video service until they can negotiate a deal. (See Roku Scores First OTT Cable Deal.)

  • Mediacom Communications Corp. is targeting the small and mid-sized commercial services market with a dedicated division called Mediacom Business, appointing cable veteran Dan Templin to run it. (See Cable's $5B Biz Services Bonanza .)

  • Insight Communications Co. Inc. CEO Michael Willner blogs that the MSO has launched its multi-room DVR service in all markets, unveiling boxes from Pace plc that let customers record up to six shows at once.

    — Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable, and Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

  • Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:06:55 PM
    re: Dish Tries to Get One Over Netflix

    $30 seems like a pretty steep price to pay for that early window, especially if we're talking about an Adam Sandler movie.  But I might be willing to pay for the convenience of piping a first run movie directly into the house if I simply couldn't wait to see it and there was little chance I'd be able to make it to the theater due to other commitments.  But I still might miss that super big screen experience over the widescreen experience i can get at home. But I agree with Greenfield... James Cameron & Co. need to do a better job embracing this change because it's going to occur with or without their blessing. JB

    Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:06:53 PM
    re: Dish Tries to Get One Over Netflix

    I have the patience to wait for most movies to come to VoD or DVD or Netflix or the premium channels.  Free time is limited so we're pretty picky these days on what movies we'll go to the trouble to see at the theater...  It's generally gotta be an "event" type movie to get us to bother -- ie. I don't pony up to see Adam Sandler movies at the theater.

    And once 3dTVs start to penetrate, the theaters will lose that advantage, too, for whatever that advantage has been worth so far.    JB

    ravanelli 12/5/2012 | 5:06:53 PM
    re: Dish Tries to Get One Over Netflix

    Theaters are going to go the way of the video store, unless Cameron and Co. focus on improving the theater experience. Who wants to go pay a fortune for a soda and listen to people's cell phones go off when they can watch movies on their own terms at home?  It's the same reason why NFL attendance is down but their TV viewership is huge.


    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:06:53 PM
    re: Dish Tries to Get One Over Netflix


    I think theatres are dead outside of 3D stuff or other similar special effects movies over the long term.  Seriously - do you really care about seeing the movie this week or this month or this year?  Do you care as much as they want to charge for them? 

    Unless there is something extra about the in theatre experience I will wait for it to come out in some much lower cost format.



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