Dish Gets ABC Rights for Online TV Service

Satellite provider Dish just won the rights to include ABC and ESPN in an online TV service, reports GigaOm. The Dish/Disney deal may set the stage for Disney to strike similar multiscreen streaming deals with providers like Comcast, DirecTV, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and TMobile.

Dish and Disney have reached a retransmission agreement that forces Dish to turn off automated ad skipping for ABC shows, but it also gives Dish the rights to include ABC and ESPN programming “as part of an Internet delivered, IP-based multichannel offering,” according to a Dish press release.

“The creation of this agreement has really been about predicting the future of television with a visionary and forward-leaning partner,” said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH Chief Executive Officer and President. “Not only will the exceptional Disney, ABC, ESPN entertainment portfolio continue to delight our customers today, but we have a model from which to deliver exciting new services tomorrow.”

The deal represents a significant victory for Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen, says Time, enabling Dish to jump to the front of the pack in the race to deliver TV programming that’s accessible over the Internet on a range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and old-fashioned televisions.

DISH will launch ESPNEWS, ESPNU, Disney Channel and ABC Family in high definition. ESPN Classic will be reintroduced as a video-on-demand channel.

According to Bloomberg, the company aims to offer the service as soon as it can get enough programming deals in place, and is considering charging $20 to $30 a month, said people with knowledge of the matter.

Dish already has an adaptive bit rate streaming architecture spawned by EchoStar’s acquisition of streaming video pioneer Move Networks in 2011. Sony is developing a broadband-delivered pay-TV offering itself that will feature live TV, on-demand content and DVR service with tests starting later this year.

With the latest VP-9 or H.265 compression, HDTV can stream home using only 3 Mbps — that’s well within the capacity of most any broadband network — wired or wireless.

Dish now has 10 MHz near 2GHz and 40 MHz of MSS spectrum adjacent to it. Dish also owns a 5 GHz swath on the 700 MHz band. That totals 55 MHz.

How Dish intends to use that spectrum remains to be seen. An unlimited (30 GB for $30/mo) broadband service for over the top video might be one route home.

Dish and Sprint will test fixed TD-LTE, beginning mid-2014. The trial will involve Dish installing outdoor or indoor routers that will take advantage of Sprint’s deployment in the 2.5 GHz band.

See Dailywireless: Dish Wins Everything in H-Block Auction, Dish: 5th Biggest Spectrum Holder, H.265 Gets Real, Mobile Video on Diet with Social Graph, 4K TV Gets Cloud Support, Sprint Spark: Firestarter or Blowing Smoke?, Dish and Sprint Test Fixed TD-LTE, Dish: Lower 700MHz Power Ups Speculation, 4K, OLED and IPTV on Display at CES

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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