Dish Network has officially added A+E Networks to its over-the-top lineup: Under the companies’ multiyear contract renewal, the satcaster has secured rights to stream the cabler’s live and on-demand programming over Internet.
Dish announced an OTT deal with Disney this spring covering streaming content from five networks — the first such deal of its kind in the pay-TV industry.
Dish, the No. 2 U.S. satellite TV provider after DirecTV, has not divulged many details of its forthcoming Internet TV service, but has said it’s aiming to cater to consumers who want a smaller (and cheaper) bundle of channels than is typically available from cable or satellite services. The satcaster has been targeting a launch by year-end, with a price point estimated to be $20-$30 per month.
“We are thrilled that Dish’s valued customers will be able to enjoy A+E Networks’ award-winning portfolio of brands across their multiple platforms,” Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO of A+E Networks, said in a statement.
In May, Dish chairman Charlie Ergen said the company had OTT deals with several programmers besides to Disney for a viable Internet TV service, but said the satcaster is looking for more partners and expects to launch near the end of the year. “We would want to have enough critical mass between general entertainment and sports and children’s (programming) to launch (and) we believe we have enough to do that,” he said on the satcaster’s Q1 earnings call.
The new OTT rights Dish negotiated with A+E cover a “future multi-stream subscription service.” The pact with Disney, by contrast, covers a single stream of programming per subscriber (meaning a Dish OTT customer couldn’t watch, say, ESPN on one device and Disney Channel on another at the same time).
Dish’s overall renewal with A+E applies to the entire suite of channels: A&E (whose shows include “Duck Dynasty,” pictured above), Lifetime, History, LMN, FYI (which replaces Bio), H2, History en Español, Crime + Investigation and Military History. It also expands distribution of A+E’s H2 and FYI channels, which will be part of the America’s Top 200 programming package.
The renewal also expands authenticated A+E Networks programming available to Dish customers via Internet-connected devices, including TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and other devices. Dish subs will be able to use the Dish Anywhere app, Dish’s website or A+E’s websites and apps to watch live and VOD content.
“I am pleased to call A+E Networks an innovative partner in developing this wide-ranging, creative agreement that will help to define the future of TV,” Dish president and CEO Joe Clayton said in a statement.