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DISH Network Unveils Movie Streaming Service

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the seizing-an-opportunity dept.

Movies 49

New submitter therealobsideus tips news that DISH Network has seized upon the uncertainty surrounding Netflix by taking the opportunity to roll out a Blockbuster-branded service for streaming movies and TV shows as well as renting media through the mail. Quoting Mashable: "The service, Dish Network with BlockBuster Movie Pass, is not a direct Netflix competitor per se. Instead, it’s a $10 monthly add-on for existing Dish Network subscribers that will offer them access to DVD and Blu-ray — as well as video game — rentals by mail, along with access to streaming movies and TV shows. It will debut on Oct. 1 and be accompanied by a big advertising campaign. In other words, this is a mashup of BlockBuster’s existing mail and online services with Dish Network’s current video-on-demand service. For Dish Network subscribers, this is a great deal. But we’re scratching our heads to find the value for everyone else. Dish does say it has plans to offer services for non-Dish Network subscribers."

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Good (1)

mfh (56) | more than 2 years ago | (#37495980)

I have to admit... it's nice to see more companies jumping in the ring to compete for our streaming dollars. If Dish has some good shows I'm gonna sign up. It used to be people would only sign up for one network for their TV.... and now we could potentially sign up for many different streaming networks so that's a win/win for everyone.

Good? (2)

WinPimp2K (301497) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496124)

So 29 bucks a month or so for DISH, plus an additional charge for streaming - with rather limited choices and even more limited choices on DVD by mail? Somehow my wallet just ain't feeling the love yet.

Re:Good? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37496194)

29 bucks a month???? only if you want to watch crap all the time. In order to get the (very few) things I want, I have to purchase so much unwanted and unnecessary crap. Why can't they figure out that all I want to watch is NFL, MLB, HBO, and Comedy Central?

Why should I have to get the uber ultra mega super package ($100/month) to get these things? And then on top of it its clobbered with annoying, loud, obnoxious, commercials.

I'm not paying to get kicked in the balls anymore... Fuck cable / satellite

well you can get a canada dish and pick the theme (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496340)

well you can get a Canada dish and pick the theme packs that you want and pay less + be able to buy the box and pay no rent or mirroring fees.

Re:well you can get a canada dish and pick the the (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37496584)

Canada's version of Dish Network (BellTV) STARTS at $33.50 a month plus $5 because you only have satellite TV and no Bell phone plus $3 service fee (non-optional) plus 1.5% LPIF tax plus 13% sales tax ($47.60 total) plus the conversion to US dollars (which last week meant it was $49 US). That includes no extra packages. 3 theme packs can be added for $20.50 plus all those taxes, and that's a special discount.

So, if you want to pick and choose in Canada, expect to pay approximately $75 US a month. But that really doesn't get you much. You can pay about $110 US a month and get a lot, or about $150 US a month and you'd probably get the movie channels along with absolutely everything.

And let's not forget that what few US stations you do get are edited so you get more Canadian commercials, and that you will not be able to get most US movie channels or US specialty channels at all.

But yes, you can buy the box outright. They're only $200 or so. But you must use it in one location, so if you have a cottage/RV, you'll need to buy a second account and receiver for that.

Re:Good? (1)

Duradin (1261418) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496712)

They have figured it out. Why do you think they bundle crap channels with the good ones? The they, that's the NFL, MLB, HBO, and Comedy Central.

The carriers generally don't have the clout (or money) to say they're just going to carry the good channels. If they did you'd still be paying at least the cost of the ultra super mega package for your a la cart selections.

Re:Good? (1)

therealobsideus (1610557) | more than 2 years ago | (#37498462)

Exactly, Duradin. ALC isn't going to be inexpensive until the government gets involved - and our government has proven it isn't interested in getting involved. And can you imagine the backlash that would happen if any pay-TV provider took a stand? You'd see channel takedowns, and then a long time of no carriage of that channel. Imagine 14 million DISH Network customers angry about losing ESPN because DISH wants that a la carte? And knowing that ESPN comes with the rest of the Disney family of channels, you'd infuriate your sports fans, your family-friendly customers and many more.

Re:Good? (1)

therealobsideus (1610557) | more than 2 years ago | (#37498378)

It's not cable/satellites fault. Believe me, DISH Network and the rest of them want a la carte so bad - however, the major providers of content (like Disney) use their popular channels to force their less popular channels onto the pay-TV providers. I.E. ESPN and regional sports networks.

Re:Good? (1, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496252)

Based on ..what? Netflix streaming selection is crap.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37496142)

It doesn't matter. It's not going to change much in the long run.

In the short term, companies like Dish can afford to offer lower prices because they are generating revenue in other areas of their businesses. Companies like Netflix need the streaming itself to be profitable, so they can't offer lower prices.

In the long term, those smaller streaming-only companies are going to be niche at best, and prices are going to go up as the big guys like Dish bring prices in line with what is profitable. They won't have to compete on service, because they'll already have grabbed market share on price, plus it comes bundled with their other offerings. So you're left with the same old choices who now have streaming, which you are going to pay for anyway.

And none of these companies have significant leverage over the content producers, who are the ones ultimately setting the price.

Disclaimer: I own shares of Netflix.

Re:Good (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496186)

I do this. I have a measly TV package now, but have an amazon prime account (and use their paid rentals), a hulu account for newer shows and netflix streaming only. Prime covers itself in what I save in shipping. Hulu is steep for what it is. One months tv plan savings covered the cost of a roku in one hit.

I just finally realized I was paying the tv company something like $80/mo for 2 or 3 shows I care about in any given month. 8-12 episodes at $7-$10 an episode is a lot... it seemed silly.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496324)

We're looking at dumping satellite. We can download the movies we want, and there are quite a few shows available on the net. Some of it isn't legit, but for the amount we watch TV, it's insane to be paying the better part of $80 or $90 a month, particularly as with satellite they just pump out a lot of affiliate stations so you end up with fifteen of the same episode of House or whatever within a few hours of each other.

It's a pity Netflix sucks, it would be nice to have a decent affordable movie streaming service. I'm not going to torrents because I want to rob the entertainment industry blind, but because I want to have a decent selection of movies I can watch when I want.

Re:Good (1)

Ichijo (607641) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496450)

It's a pity Netflix sucks, it would be nice to have a decent affordable movie streaming service.

How about Netflix+Amazon? For $7.99 per month, you get the entire Netflix catalog, and then you can rent and buy newer movies and TV shows through Amazon Instant Videos.

Re:Good (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496734)

Probably the same reason my parents don't subscribe to Netflix streaming, bad selection and for some series they'd have to get some of the episodes on disc as they aren't available for streaming.

That's the Path of Least Resistance (2)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#37497450)

And that's what I told my friend who is head of programming at Starz: People want to have a reasonably priced streaming service that lets them watch what they want, when they want. So if you guys on the content side keep putting the screws to Netflix then both of you will lose because people will conclude Torrents are the only way to go.

And if they're thinking that they're going to "crack down on filesharing" to prevent that then they are smoking unhealthy amounts of crack, because I have friends and acquaintances who regularly offer me thumbs and external hard drives with ungodly amounts of media on them. Go ahead, *IAA, try to sniff those packets.

Re:Good (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#37497158)

Honestly I partly agree, but largely disagree, not due to the companies themselves having the problem but because of the stupidity of the content holders. Content holders see streaming as a huge piracy liability (flat out retarted if you ask me... the DVDs and CDs will be ripped and uploaded to pirate sites the second they are released or sooner). But to minimize this danger, the content providers will only cut a deal with 1 or 2 streaming services. Turning the situation into a "for CBS subscribe to amazon prime for $10 a month, if your show is on fox, subscribe to hulu for $10 a month, if your show is on viacom, subscribe to dish. The same reason that TV networks go head to head by putting shows to target the same audience within the same block, they will put shows targetting similar audience on each streaming service. Forcing users to either subscribe to 5 different services to watch 5 shows, or to chose and take 1 good show and 2 medeocre ones. None of these services are competing on features etc... They are compeating on which show/movie producers chose them.

This is a good strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37496016)

This is a good thing. They're staying competitive by offering modern services.

Then, as time moves on and less people want to pay for cable, they can transition over to a soely netflix-style model (or whatever comes next)

Re:This is a good strategy (1)

robmv (855035) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496136)

and they can split later and call the new company Cablexquix or something like that

Live programming (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496148)

Good luck getting ESPN and other major providers of live programming to go along with a solely Netflix-style model.

Re:Live programming (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496332)

ESPN is a delivery service. Guess how much MLB baseball I watched on ESPN this season. (Hint: None).

Now, this is a bit easier for me than for other folks, since my team is not the local team and so it is never blacked out for me. But the second MLB can make more money streaming this content directly to everyone (or through some other service) than going through ESPN, they're going to do it, local games and all. ESPN wants their contract. They only want ESPN when ESPN makes the best offer.

Re:Live programming (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496748)

My mother probably would have subscribed to MLB and ditched the satellite if not for the obnoxious licensing requirements. Basically she could get a stream, but only after the game was over and subject to various restrictions.

Add-on to cable (2)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496144)

I wouldn't be surprised if they try to use this style of 'add-on' to eventually replace cable. At the same "low" price, of course.

Re:Add-on to cable (2)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496242)

If I can instantly watch anything I want without having to muck about with file sharing, that's good news, at least for me. I've been saying for a while I'd willingly pay more for Netflix if it had everything available by streaming. I've become accustomed to watching TV on my schedule rather than the TV's, and I don't want to go back to the bad old days.

Re:Add-on to cable (0)

webheaded (997188) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496598)

I would pay as much as someone normally pays for cable to get a steaming service that literally had everything. All movies and TV shows from all movie companies and networks. But that would never happen. Those greedy fucks just try and squeeze as much profit out of us as they possibly can. They were starting to get some of the pirates out of their shells to come pay for this stuff and then they fucked it all up when they got greedy with the Netflix streaming. Great job guys. Guess I'll just go back to what I usually do and they can fuck off.

What could it be!? (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496166)

But we’re scratching our heads to find the value for everyone else.

Could it be, just maybe, that they're trying to attract new customers as well as please their existing ones? It sounds like a pretty good deal to me personally, if there were a decent ISP in the area that wasn't ludicrously expensive to buy without buying cable service as well I'd be all over it.

Re:What could it be!? (1)

linuxwolf69 (1996104) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496490)

I get my inet through local ISP without TV. Just have to ask for it. At first they were shocked... and tried to sell me on it anyway. I just told them not interested. Don't watch TV, only want internet. No need to get their "triple package" with tv, phone, and inet. Don't use home phone, don't watch tv... only want inet.

Blockbuster? Ick. (1, Insightful)

Quirkz (1206400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496214)

Honestly, I've got enough bad associations with the Blockbuster name that it would turn me away from a new product, whatever the features or terms. I can't be the only one, am I?

Re:Blockbuster? Ick. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496276)

I always had great service with Blockbuster.

They lost simply by convenience.

Re:Blockbuster? Ick. (1)

Quirkz (1206400) | more than 2 years ago | (#37499484)

The last branch that I used charged me late fees for movies returned punctually, and once sent collections after me to charge for a movie that I returned to them but they lost. Some other branches weren't so bad, but I gave up on them after the collections incident.

Re:Blockbuster? Ick. (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#37498884)

Honestly, I've got enough bad associations with the Blockbuster name that it would turn me away from a new product, whatever the features or terms. I can't be the only one, am I?

Nope you are not. Back when they were king of the hill they jacked us around with lots of customer-unfriendly policies. I especially remember how they tried to make people buy late DVDs and advertised the new policy as "the end of late fees."

Now that they aren't king anymore they can't get away with that kind of shit. But some of us have long memories.

Duh (2)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496254)

But we’re scratching our heads to find the value for everyone else.

Dish is hoping to grab some new customers by offering more value to their network. Is that really a head-scratcher?

Re:Duh (1)

hooeezit (665120) | more than 2 years ago | (#37497092)

Dish is going all out in taking on Directv. They recognize Directv is stronger than them, so they are value-adding to their core satellite programming. They introduced Blockbuster Streaming and Tailgater (http://www.dishnetwork.com/redirects/promotion/tailgater/default.aspx [dishnetwork.com] ) at their 'Team Summit' in May. Both of them are essentially add-ons, but are meant to offer the oomph to sign on new customers or migrate existing satellite customers from Directv. Dish doesn't have that much of an incentive to sell either of those products to non-Dish customers. [Full disclosure: My company makes the Tailgater and the product is my design]

Re:Duh (1)

therealobsideus (1610557) | more than 2 years ago | (#37498406)

You work for King Control Systems then? And which part is your design - the part around the VuQube or...

Blockbuster... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37496428)

I wouldn't use a service that incorporated blockbuster if they were the only media provider on the planet... I know my dislike for blockbuster is totally irrational but I just can't support companies that based their business model on being predatory with their customers. F#@k Blockbuster!

Take note of the pricing (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37496468)

They will have thousands of titles available for streaming straight to your TV or PC. However, those title will not be all free with the subscription. Many times you will still pay a fee per movie. I think it's a great value add but it's still not a true Netflix Competitor

Apples and Oranges (2)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496494)

According to the article, the streaming is just a rebranding of their existing video on demand service, which the last time I looked had an extremely narrow list of recent movies available for $7.99 per viewing. (I am a current Dish subscriber)

That can't be right. Who would pay an extra $10/month to pay the same per view charge they currently pay for the same content? It can't be all you can view streaming like netflix, because that would kill their existing VOD service profits. I guess the article is crap and we need to wait until the official announcement to get the facts.

Re:Apples and Oranges (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37498204)

Lets say, for argument's sake, that 1 in 5 dish network subscribers, at some point, during the year, purchase 1 vod at 7.99

If instead of that, 5% of all subscribers (less than half the number of people who pay $15 a month for hbo) purchase a $10 monthly add-on, there would be a 275% increase in revenue.

Re:Apples and Oranges (1)

therealobsideus (1610557) | more than 2 years ago | (#37498418)

Using the same platform, yes. Rebranded VOD? No. May 18th DISH Network increased their subscription video on demand content significantly - this is adding on to that.

Doesn't affect cord cutters (1)

mu51c10rd (187182) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496742)

I have no desire to pay 40 dollars a month, plus a 10 dollar addon when my Netflix/Hulu/Amazon combinations costs about 24 a month. I also have no desire to place a dish on my house again and get TV services, not do I think an online service that only works with Dish receivers is truly a competitor in the streaming space. Isn't DirectTV's on demand service already just like this without the Blockbuster name. Now, if Blockbuster offered unlimited streaming for a price through Blockbuster On Demand...that would threaten Netflix.

Bandwidth saver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37496902)

Not just because I'm a DISH subscriber but I see this as a good thing...all that bandwidth being used for pure media consumption go back to where it belongs and off the internet. (backhauls not withstanding). Having the infrastructure already in place (dish, cabling, receivers etc) is a plus.

Huh? (1)

residieu (577863) | more than 2 years ago | (#37496984)

But we’re scratching our heads to find the value for everyone else.

Dish is offering a new service to its customers, why would you assume there would be value in it for its non-customers.

Dish does say it has plans to offer services for non-Dish Network subscribers."

Ok, there you go, they DO play on offering the service to everyone. Probably after they've seen it's profitable with just Dish subscribers.

No thanks. (1)

Monoman (8745) | more than 2 years ago | (#37497000)

We "cut the cord" on TV service all together a few months back. DishTV was a headache. Horrible service, horrible price creeping up, horrible DVR. Another (likely) half ass service for an additional fee isn't gonna bring me back.

What makes this good? (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37497102)

Quote: For Dish Network subscribers, this is a great deal. ... What in the world makes this a good deal, at least assuming that you don't care about the game part? I know that Netlix bashing is in and I certainly like the idea of sending NetFlix a message of customer dissatisfaction, but how is spending more for a Blockbuster branded service better than spending less for NetFlix, particularly considering that NetFlix has more distributed distribution centers that should get your media to you faster and likely has a better choice of media? Heck, even if I was a Dish subscriber I wouldn't jump to this over NetFlix, and since I'm not a Dish subscriber I could care less about when they make it available to me.

Re:What makes this good? (1)

CheetoNards (813730) | more than 2 years ago | (#37497298)

I'm confused by this comment.

For existing Dish Network subscribers it is an additional $10. This includes streaming and DVDs by mail.

Ignoring blu-ray and games, a comparable Netflix subscription, with the current pricing, would be $7.99 + $7.99 = $15.98. This is already more expensive and doesn't include the $2 that Netflix charges for blu-ray, and whatever value you want to assign to the option of renting games.

The DVD by mail selection is actually pretty similar between Netflix and Blockbuster. Maybe Netflix still has some obscure titles that aren't carried by Blockbuster, but the demographic that are interested in those is pretty small. Blockbuster, on the other hand, has access to the mainstream new-releases much sooner than Netflix.

Maybe I'm missing something, but the value there seems very apparent.

Re:What makes this good? (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#37498200)

I missed that it included streaming. But if it does I still wonder "streaming of what". Lots of stuff on the web is available for streaming for free, and what NetFlix did offer for streaming was said to be a very very limited part of the NetFlix catalog. And streaming is becoming of less and less value as IPS cap their monthly bandwidth at levels that can incur obscene overage charges if you go over the caps.

Not "seizing" anything (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 2 years ago | (#37497854)

DISH Network has seized upon the uncertainty surrounding Netflix by taking the opportunity to roll out a Blockbuster-branded service for streaming movies and TV shows as well as renting media through the mail.

Why is it that people always feel the need to try to make correlations like this when they so obviously don't make any sense.

These decisions are not made and implemented in a few days. DISH bought Blockbuster's assets in April with the intent to do exactly what they are doing, and are launching the service in next week. Trying to claim it was a reaction to some decision Netflix made last week is absurd.

Re:Not "seizing" anything (2)

therealobsideus (1610557) | more than 2 years ago | (#37498434)

^ This. Joe Clayton, DISH Network's CEO, also stated that this was in the planning for the past 5 months that DISH Network has owned Blockbuster. The coincidence around Netflix's fall from favor recently is sheer luck, and in Joe's words, "We'll take all the luck we can get."

http://www.dishonline.com (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 2 years ago | (#37498392)

I couldn't find any links to the site itself in the articles but that's our boy. Enjoy!

Unbeatable deal (0)

N1cole (2468996) | more than 2 years ago | (#37499598)

The value that the Blockbuster Movie Pass adds to the service of DISH Network subscribers is insurmountable. The pass accesses 100,000 DVD movies, TV shows and games available by mail, streaming of more than 3,000 movies to the TV or PC, and 20 premium entertainment movie channels from studios like MGM, Epix, Sony Movie Channel, PixL and more. Since I work for DISH I know that they're offering this as a bundled service to new customers and an add-on service for existing customers beginning this October 1st. Check here for the details. http://bit.ly/nUnGx1 [bit.ly]
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