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Dish says it wants to offer a Web TV service later this year. ESPN and some other Disney channels are on board.

Who else could Dish get, if it wants to hit its retail target price of $30 a month?

Here’s a theoretical list, courtesy of Bernstein Research’s Todd Juenger. He figures Dish could conceivably sign up the broadcast networks, along with some channels from Viacom, 21st Century Fox, AMC and Comcast*. So you’d get all the sports you need, plus “Mad Men,” “The Daily Show,” and “Aqua Team Hunger Force,” for when you’re stoned.

That lineup would be about $22 a month in programming fees, and Juenger is dubious that Dish can make money selling that bundle for $30 (DirecTV CEO Mike White is also skeptical). He’s also dubious that there’s a very big market for this lineup, because after you factor in broadband fees, you’re going to end up with a service that will be pretty close to the cost of a traditional pay TV/Internet bundle.

More provocatively, Juenger speculates that a Dish Web bundle might provoke someone else to market a much cheaper Web bundle. If you wanted to cut costs, you’d go without Disney, ESPN and ABC, which cost about $11 a month, and ditch the rest of the broadcast channels, too. (After all, they’re technically free to anyone with an antenna).

Then you could end up with a package of about 50 cable channels, which would cost about $11, and could retail for $15. And if you paired it with Netflix or Amazon Prime, that might be pretty interesting. You still get Don Draper, Jon Stewart and Robot Chicken, plus “Chopped,” “Deadliest Catch,” etc. You’d just have to be happy without sports, and you’d have to figure out what to do about broadcast TV.

Intriguing, right?

* Comcast owns NBCUniversal, which is an investor in Re/code.



8 comments
gluhn
gluhn

For those of us outside the range of a rooftop antenna, yes this might make sense. Local news and national sports are the only things I can't get now (that I'm interested in watching) via Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.  The author believes I should include my internet costs in this calculation, but I would have that anyway...

Dennis Paine
Dennis Paine

@ Peter Kafka:  NO!


Dish can't even get satellite delivery right, and billing & customer service are a nightmare.

Bahmani
Bahmani

The ONLY bundle I am interested in is the HBO Showtime one. I'd pay $30 for that. Everything else is either in Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon or on an antenna. Which you forgot to mention delivers TRUE full HD. Not the compressed crap Dish (or Comcast) gives you now for near $140/mo

The average price reduction for FAR better image quality AND program selection at $30 for a premium channel stream would cost the average household about $60 per month instead of what they are paying for able or dish now.

Cable and dish television as delivered services is dead. No one hart DVRs anymore most OnDemand their favorite shows. Which is really streaming behavior.

Comcast and a Dish would be better off trying to figure out how to deliver the 100kbps internet to homes rather than run around trying to make bundle deals with the off channels that might have a hit season here and there.

Case in point Mad Men is only popular now because it's the final season. Which AMC picked up on and cleverly stretched it to two! EVERYTHING AMC makes or had made is on either Netflix or Amazon. For $9. But consider that MM compared to Game. Of Thrones is nothing.

Streaming service, high speed, premium channels, and a small footprint HD antenna for local news. That's the (near) future. For now Dish is the Microsoft of TV. They used to be OK but now are just constantly late to the party.

BenDubya
BenDubya

Drop the sports and add HBO and I'd sign up tomorrow

Bardo
Bardo

Twitch.tv can broadcast THOUSANDS of simultaneous "live channels" to the internet.

I just don't understand how these networks can't make it work with 1 stream.

Why go through a middleman cable provider at all?

davebarnes
davebarnes

I want:

MSNBC

FoodPorn and HousePorn

Comedy Central

and that is it.

Bardo
Bardo

22 cents a month for Comedy Central?

I'd pay 10 times that to get a live internet stream if I didn't have to also pay for all the trash that I don't want.

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