It looks like it's going to be one serious competitor.
DISH has added Scripps Networks to its streaming portfolio that already includes A&E Networks and Disney/ESPN. That's right, they can stream HGTV, A&E, Disney Channel, and a lot more. Of course we don't know what the new streaming service will cost, but at the very least this gives DISH something substantial to offer customers.
DISH has been working hard this year to launch their streaming service, and industry insiders are mixed on its chances for success. There seems to be a feeling that regardless of the amount of content, DISH couldn't charge more than $20 to the customer. If they can manage to keep content costs low, they could hit that number, but what will it do to DISH's satellite viewership? DIRECTV's Mike White, when asked about his plans for a streaming service, expressed concerns that a streaming service would be a net loser since it would drive people away from higher-priced satellite-delivered television. Obviously the folks at DISH see things a little differently.
When DISH and Verizon launch their streaming TV services, it could signal a major shift in the world of TV, but more likely than not that shift will include lower payments to content providers and that will lead to a bit of a thinning of the herd. Consumers today are not network-centric, they're content-centric. In other words, they want Mad Men
but they don't care what else is on A&E. Streaming network content is probably a stopgap measure as we move toward a pure on-demand model where the 50 or so top shows are purchased a la carte for streaming or download and the rest of the television universe exists on a smaller and smaller number of "channels" which operate more like YouTube than like a traditional channel today.
For those fans of press releases, enjoy the one you'll find here