Dish Network announced today that it has agreed to terms for a multi-year contract renewal with A&E Networks that includes over-the-top (OTT) multi-stream rights for live and video-on-demand (VOD) content. The OTT/VOD stipulation refers to Dish’s standalone streaming TV service that the company has been developing and preparing for a potential release this year.
The renewal applies to the entire suite of A&E Networks’ channels, including A&E, Lifetime, History, LMN, FYI, H2, Crime & Investigation, and Military History.
According to the official press release, the new OTT rights allow access to A&E Networks’ vault of content for both live and Video-on-Demand content for what Dish calls ” a flexible, content-driven, Internet-accessible service.” The renewal also expands the authenticated A&E Networks programming available to traditional Dish subscribers at home or on-the-go via Internet-connected devices, including TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, and other devices. Dish subscribers will be able to use the Dish Anywhere app for iOS or Android or the official Dish Anywhere site to view VOD and full-season content.
Back in March, Dish inked a similar deal with Disney to secure programming rights from across its large collection of assets, including ABC and ESPN, and a warchest of Disney content (after agreeing to nix its AutoHop feature for ABC programming). The deal was specifically aimed at bolstering the new OTT service. Its got its work cut out for it, but Dish appears to have committed to this strategy, and is slowly acquiring content as its planned new service approaches launch.
Whether or not so-called cord-cutters, or viewers who have ditched the traditional subscription paradigm, will bite on Dish’s new service remains to be seen, but the platform will mark a new era in the transition of traditional pay-TV services to the world of online streaming.
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