Dish sets to battle Netflix with streaming play 'sooner than later'

When Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) bought a bankrupt Blockbuster Video in April for $320 million, the only unanswered question wasn't "Will it launch a competitor to Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX)?" But, rather, "When would it happen?" (See this article.)

New Dish President and CEO Joe Clayton dispelled whatever "would it" uncertainty that remained during an interview this week with the L.A. Times, but he didn't do a whole lot for the "when."

Clayton, the former chairman at Sirius, told the paper the 14.2 million subscriber service is looking not only to offer a competing service to Netflix, but also to add a wireless phone service (the company has spent about $3 billion acquiring spectrum to that end).

"We are putting together the building blocks to be able to provide a whole suite of services to the customer," said Clayton. "Wireless voice, broadband, video, mobile...we're going to have the capability to do all of the above."

Clayton said Hollywood would gladly see another competitor to Netflix, which many view as the only significant game in town, despite recent content acquisition deals signed by Amazon.

"Don't you think they would encourage us to get into this business?" he said. "Everybody's enamored with Netflix. Who's to say we can't do the same thing? We have access to the studios; we have access to huge movie libraries."

He declined to say when the service might start, but added "Sooner is always better."

For more:
- see this L.A. Times report

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Dish Network lands Blockbuster Video at auction for $320M