Dish Network has noticed the trends in TV watching — that more and more people, especially younger ones, are watching TV on their tablets, phones, and computers, and that those kids are more and more contented with services like Hulu, Netflix, or Spotify for their media needs. Dish is rumored to be in talks with Viacom (MTV, Comedy Central), Univision (Spanish Language Programming), and Scripps (Food Network, and HGTV) to launch an internet-based cable feed in a more à la carte style. Subscribers would hypothetically be able to buy channels by “Families,” which — while they’d be paying more per-channel than the typical $0.20-0.40 that your cable company coughs up a month per channel — would still offer more personalized entertainment choices for less money spent each month.
The traditional cable model is threatened greatly by online video. Some services, like Verizon’s FIOS have teamed up with existing players like RedBox to offer their customers premium services while still protecting the core of their investment (like making sure HBO GO only feeds HBO to subscribers), but even the most old-school providers can see which way the wind is blowing. Some form of à la carte pay TV is inevitable. This might be the answer that people have been looking for, because as long as those start-up channels stay firmly docked to the mothership, and the system allows for Nielsen to track viewers, many of the objections of everyone (except of course, Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, and the rest) will be addressed.
We’ll see how it goes. With Dish first buying Blockbuster, and now this, they may have a trump card that lets them run away with the gold without launching another rocket.