Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) announced a wide-reaching program-renewal deal with Scripps Networks, giving the No. 2 satellite operator, among other things, rights to put channels including HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and DIY Network on its soon-to-launch OTT service.
The multiyear deal also expands Dish's multiscreen rights to Scripps content, allowing for authenticated live and VOD programming on IP devices while widening distribution of DIY and Cooking Channel on Dish's popular America's Top 200 programming tier.
The intriguing part of this content-renewal deal is, of course, the over-the-top rights. Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen has said his company's upcoming OTT video service, set to launch by the end of 2014, is targeted at Millennial-aged viewers who are not yet indoctrinated into the world of pay TV.
Analysts have questioned how many channels Dish could license for the service while still reaching a target monthly consumer price of $30 or less for the service.
Dish has already locked up OTT rights to Disney channels, which include ESPN, the network Ergen has singled out as being a key driver for the new service. A subsequent programming deal added A&E Networks to the service. (This offering will most likely be called "Nutv," as a number of recent Dish trademark filings seem to indicate.)
The Scripps deal is only the latest indicator that major entertainment conglomerates are opening up to OTT distribution. Earlier in September, for example, Viacom announced a deal to provide channels to a rival OTT service being launched by Sony.
"Dish is delighted to add Scripps Networks' award-winning lifestyle content to our growing library of sports, family, educational and entertainment options that will create a redefined video experience for a new type of consumer," said Joseph P. Clayton, Dish's president and CEO, in a statement. "This wide-ranging agreement gives Dish customers dynamic access to Scripps Networks programming today and tomorrow."
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