Dish Wants To Put Broadcast Shows On Separate Tier Of New Digital Service

For years, TV broadcasters have talked about how much they have been paid by TV distributors -- cable, satellite and telco companies. They will talk up the fact of their viewership numbers, which still generally outperform those of any cable network.

That said, we know there are exceptions: USA Network, TBS, Fox News and others can pull in more prime-time viewers than the likes of The CW, or other niche broadcast networks. Individual cable shows such as “The Walking Dead” can regularly beat any and all TV network shows in key viewership areas for an entire season.

But generally TV broadcasters still reign supreme -- which is why Dish Network, as well as other pay TV companies, needs to have them as part of their programming portfolio.

Now Dish wants to change the game for new digital offerings. The company might not want TV broadcast stations to be included in the basic plan of its upcoming cloud-based TV service, according to the Wall Street Journal.



Dish wants big media companies like NBC and Disney-ABC to exclude their TV broadcast properties -- or at least to reserve the option to put those broadcast properties on a separate higher-priced tier. That could be a problem down the line since big media is all about leveraging all their properties -- cable, broadcast (as well as digital rights) -- with distributors.

Dish, at least, seems to want to give consumers the option to pay more for those broadcast TV stations in a separate tier -- kind of like what many pay TV providers have been pushing to do with expensive sports cable networks like ESPN.

Dish intends its cloud-based basic package, with a fee of around $30 a month, to be an inexpensive alternative to the pricey $90 and more traditional monthly pay TV package.

All this would mean higher-rated TV shows like “The Voice,” “NCIS” and “Scandal”, as well as much NFL sports programming, wouldn’t be available with Dish’s new service. That might work for light, occasional TV viewers -- or young millennials and/or Gen-Xers -- who would still get a variety of channels, including cable news networks.

Consumers think they’re saving on entertainment? You always get what you pay for.

4 comments about "Dish Wants To Put Broadcast Shows On Separate Tier Of New Digital Service ".
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  1. Steve Symonds from Symonds Associates, LLC, December 12, 2014 at 3:37 p.m.

    Dish wants to change one of the most fundamental structures in the mass media business? Please tell me what wishing well they are going to...I'd really like a unicorn in my basement that poops gold dubloons. Hey, I'm as likely to get that as Dish is what they are asking for! Just sayin...

  2. John Willkie from EtherGuide Systems, December 12, 2014 at 5:59 p.m.

    Dish has been at war with it's business model for some time. Of course, this article missed a salient point: Disney/ABC has already agreed to be carried on NuTV (at least in markets where ABC owns the local ABC affiliate).

    What it seems to me is really going on here is Dish is trying to make the box they've put themselves in to be a great, wide-open future. Or, in other words, trying to make a vice seem to be a virtue.

    In reality, a "low priced" TV service without broadcast TV content is a "TV service" not worth having. Take, for example, local news. Nobody unwilling to spend on a big bundle of unwatched channels would ever want to see local news reports live, would they?

    And, were the "genius gambler" of Dish interested in providing a cost-effective service, at a cost of less than $8 per unit, he could toss in that tuner he otherwise wants to offer, and NuTV viewers -- if there are ever any such viewers -- could have access to all their local TV, without paying anything for local/network content.

    Dish is at war with it's business model, and Dish appears to be losing the battle. Losing badly.

  3. Christopher Blair from SynCom Media Group, Inc., December 12, 2014 at 8:28 p.m.

    Why can't viewers combine OTT with OTA. It's a lot cheaper to pay for an off-air antenna than to pay for a high-priced tier that delivers the same content.

  4. Scott Gilbert from The Radio Mall, December 13, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.

    So, Dish, who already charges you for FREE BROADCAST TV now wants to charge you MORE for it? People will only stand for so much greed... I cut the cable years ago with an $8 to $15 antenna and a computer with a dual tuner card for recording off the air; a DVR. The computer also makes it possible to stream anything that streams to my TV. And now that I have a smart TV, I pay $8 a month for Netflix. My total monthy expenditure for all of that? $8. You have to be absolutely crazy to pay over $150 a month for almost everything that you can get for free, or almost free.

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