A decision on Aereo by the Supreme Court will arrive in mid- to late June. But soon after that, Dish Network’s new Internet TV service -- which will deliver live streaming TV networks -- will arrive. It positions itself as the first of its kind.
Dish Internet TV isn’t looking to radically usurp the TV business model a la the renegade Aereo, which insists it is just providing individual “digital” antennas to consumers -- which in turn means no money going to the networks for its programming.
Announcing its new Internet TV service, Dish struck a deal with the Walt Disney Company -- and now looks to do more, possibly with NBCUniversal, CBS and A+E Networks. The difference for Dish versus Aereo is that one assumes revenue/fees will be given to TV networks like any other modern TV programming deals, whether on cable networks, syndication, or subscription video on demand channels.
Still, Dish isn’t completely without some controversy. Its AutoHop TV commercial skipping function has generated complaints and lawsuits from TV networks. Now, as part of its deal with Walt Disney, Dish will disengage the AutoHop function for Disney programming. Additionally, the two companies dropped legal actions against each other. The other key piece of the deal: Disney negotiated a traditional long-term carriage deal on Dish Network’s satellite service.
Aereo might not get the same results down the line. It doesn’t have the scale of a Dish Network. Still, should the Supreme Court go against Aereo -- or even for it -- will it look to find a way to make a deal with those TV broadcasters?
Perhaps as part of the new TV business models, some controversial leverage is good to have when making programming deals.