Disney deal gives Dish an edge in OTT space

Dish Network's (Nasdaq: DISH) carriage deal with Walt Disney Co. inked earlier this week gives it the right to deliver ESPN, the Disney Channel, ABC and other content via an over-the-top service that the company plans to launch soon. Many consider this to be a groundbreaking deal that will set Dish up as a leader in the OTT space.  

In return for the rights to Disney's content, Dish agreed to limit its ad-shipping technology, called the Hopper, and make it more difficult for subscribers to skip commercials using the Hopper DVR. Dish agreed to disable AutoHop from automatically removing all commercials from ABC primetime series during the time when Nielsen measures programming viewing.  

Dish has not yet said when it will launch its OTT service. The company has said it is working with other programmers to secure content. According to Bloomberg, which cited unidentified people with knowledge of the service, Dish wants to charge $20 to $30 per month for the service. That price range is similar to what Dish CEO Joe Clayton told FierceCable in an interview at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year.

Specifically, Clayton said that he didn't believe young adults would pay $100 a month for content but would pay $20 to $30 per month. He also said they are not going to want to watch 250 channels per year but may watch 20 to 30 channels and will want to watch their content on their smartphones, tablets and PCs in addition to their TVs.

Dish, of course, isn't the only company looking to offer a streaming service. Disney has launched a streaming movie service called Disney Movies Anywhere with Apple. And Sony reportedly has inked a deal with Viacom to give it access to that company's content.

Likewise, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam told investors this week that his company is in discussions with the CEOs of major content providers about launching an OTT service that would use the company's wireless network or another broadband connection (see related article).

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this FierceCable article

Related articles:
Dish Network CEO weighs in on broadband wireless, virtual cable, pay TV consolidation
Disney teams with Apple on cloud-based Disney Movies Anywhere
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Disney signs Dish to short-term contract extension
Disney, Dish reportedly close to settling Hopper lawsuit