Dish Network Unveils New Streaming Service, But It’s No Netflix Killer

Dish Network announced today it will be offering a new streaming video service called Blockbuster Movie Pass. But if you’re one of the ones looking for an alternative to Netflix after the company changed their subscription structure and split their streaming and DVD-by-mail services into two separate companies, this might not be the substitute you are looking for.

The new service, which debuts on October 1, will only be available to Dish Network subscribers. The downside is that the $10 a month service is only available to Dish Network subscribers. Of course, if you become a Dish Network subscriber, it will be included free for a year if you sign up for the America’s Top 200 package or free for three months if you subscribe to the America’s Top 120 package.

If you’re not interested in signing up for Dish Network, the service will become available for non-subscribers at some point in the future.

The announcement contained a not-so-subtle dig at Netflix and the recent splitting of their streaming and DVD-by-mail services with Dish Network CEO Joe Clayton stating in a press release, “And unlike other companies, we offer the simplicity of one company, one bill and one connection.”

If you are a Dish Network subscriber, your ten bucks will get access to a library of some 3,000 streaming to TV and 4,000 streaming to computer titles. Netflix offer approximately 40,000 titles via streaming. The Blockbuster movie pass also comes with a DVD/blu-ray disc-by-mail component which features a selection of nearly 100,000 titles. Much like Blockbuster’s old DVD-by-mail service, discs will be returnable to any Blockbuster brick and mortar location. Unlike the old plan you will not be able to get your next rental at the store, rather it will be mailed to you.

The announcement of this new service comes as no surprise. Dish Network had picked up the ailing Blockbuster video rental business for $228 million six months ago and it was only a matter of time before Dish Network announced a way it was going to leverage the content to which Blockbuster has access. This new service combines Blockbuster’s streaming content from Starz, Epix, Sony Movie Channel, and Encore to Dish’s on demand library that includes Fox, TBS, TNT, Discovery, AMC, CartoonNetwork, DIY, HGTV, FOOD and History.

Over the past week, Dish Network had been teasing today’s announcement with the phrase “The Stream Comes Alive.” And while it is the company’s first step to integrating its Blockbuster acquisition with its own services, it looks like it still has a ways to go before it can seriously pose a threat to Netflix’s dominance in the content streaming marketplace.

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About Rich Drees 7021 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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