DISH looks to expand Blockbuster streaming beyond satellite subs

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 14-12-2011

The idea of pay-TV operators leaping into the online video streaming game with Netflix-like services has gained more wind beneath its wings. This is thanks to DISH Network CEO Joe Clayton, who said that the satellite player is considering offering an online TV service to those outside of its customer base.
This play for the average consumer would open up a market of millions to the operator, with a service that would take on not just Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, but also traditional cable operators.
DISH already offers a streaming service for its own subscribers for $10 per month via its recent Blockbuster acquisition. Blockbuster Movie Pass leverages the content partnerships and relationships that DISH snagged in the $228 million winning auction bid for the struggling movie rental mainstay.
It's unsurprising, then, that Clayton told Bloomberg News that his company felt it was already in a good position to launch an online service for the masses.
“There’s not a lot of infrastructure you have to put in place for this,” Clayton said “The expense is the programming.” Expanding the range of Blockbuster Movie Pass into over-the-top (OTT) territory has been an expected move by the satellite provider, who has said all along that its Blockbuster bid was highly strategic to its core proposition going forward.
DISH isn't alone in its strategy, though. Verizon Communications is also reportedly in talks with Redbox and Netflix to cobble together its own online OTT service or even acquire the latter, though it's unclear for now how it would avoid cannibalising either one of those companies' core revenue streams in a partnership.
“If Verizon can do it, why can’t we?,” Clayton said to Bloomberg. “Both of our companies buy a lot of content. That gives us some leverage.”