A+E renewal deal expands Dish's OTT rights but grows channel bundle burden

Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) announced a broad-reaching programming rights renewal with A+E Networks that will give the Englewood, Colo.-based satellite operator additional channels to include in its groundbreaking OTT service. But the deal will also require it to add more channels to its bloated linear program guide.

The content agreement follows up on the innovative rights deal Dish carved out with The Walt Disney Company in March, giving the operator rights to stream A+E linear and VOD programming in an anticipated new, low-cost over-the-top service that will be offered to single subscribers.

But the deal also requires Dish to add more A+E Networks channels to its popular America's Top 200 package--notably, History Channel spinoff H2 and FYI, which was just rebranded from the Biography Channel. Other added niche channels include LMN (formerly known as the Lifetime Movie Network), History en Espanol, Crime + Investigation and Military History.

"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," said Joseph P. Clayton, Dish president and CEO, in a statement. "Together we are enhancing the customer experience today with fresh, dynamic programming that Dish customers will be able to watch when and how they prefer."

"We have had a great partnership with Dish for many years and we are delighted that this renewal will carry our partnership well into the future," added Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO, A+E Networks. "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. We continue to grow and make significant investments in new brands, and as such, we're particularly pleased with the expanded distribution of FYI and H2."

For more:
- read this Dish Network press release

Related links:
Dish Network scores rights to launch ESPN, Disney on OTT service
Analysts: Watch out for Dish's OTT ambitions, but business model is unclear
At $30 a sub, Dish won't make money on new OTT service, analyst predicts

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