Comcast may have no interest in offering Video on Demand to anyone other than its existing customers, but the same doesn’t appear to be true for Dish Network. On a recent conference call with investors, CEO Charlie Ergen admitted that the company is talking to providers about obtaining streaming rights to content beyond current subscribers:
Regarding programming contract renewals, yes, we are pushing for expanded digital rights. Not every programmer has made that decision, but we’re comfortable that we will have parity at least with the other players in the industry as we move forward.
Well, some parity, at least; Ergen also talked about the different digital landscape today, suggesting that Starz’ $30 million a year licensing deal with Netflix Instant was the product of a more innocent world that would be less likely to happen today:
My gut feeling is that some programmers will grant some over-the-top internet rights and probably undermine their core business, and I think Starz is probably a good example of where they sold some over-the-top rights for fairly inexpensively, and we know that’s hurt our premium business for them more than they’re getting paid for it.
So, short version: Dish wants to be the new Netflix Instant, and is secretly hoping that some broadcasters won’t learn from other’s mistakes along the way to make it happen. Here’s hoping they don’t listen to Dish Network investors calls.
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