Dish looks to Internet for alternative channel delivery

Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) is considering a virtual pay-TV service that would be delivered to consumers over the Internet and could be paired with over-the-air channels as well, avoiding the increasingly pricey carriage fees that are causing an uproar in the pay-TV industry.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the satellite TV company has floated the idea past a number of media companies, looking to license channels that would be streamed live. It would not, sources told the Journal, make use of Dish's satellite network.

According to reports, Dish wouldn't include sports programming--the most expensive content for pay-TV providers--in its basic service tier. Providing channels over the Internet could be a far-less expensive way for Dish to reach subscribers looking for a lower entry point to pay television.

Dish, like many other providers, has suffered from subscriber erosion in recent quarters. In the most recent quarter, the company said it lost 111,000 customers.

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