Some traditional television networks consider Netflix a bane to the entertainment industry, but Dish Network has decided to forego any unpleasantness and embrace the streaming video-on-demand service. The pay-TV provider will give its subscribers Netflix access via its Hopper set-top boxes starting December 17, 2014.
The deal between Dish and Netflix marks the first time a major U.S.-based network has agreed to add Netflix’s programming to its own offerings, thus giving users easier access to the SVOD service’s library. Netflix already has a similar deal in place in the U.K. with Virgin Media, and earlier this year, it brought its own cable TV channel to smaller networks around the U.S. Other than those minor wins, though, Netflix hasn’t been able to get any large networks and pay-TV providers in the U.S. on board with a deal like the one it just brokered with Dish.
“As the first major pay-TV provider in the U.S. to add the Netflix app to its set-top box, Dish strengthens an already robust video entertainment experience for its customers,” said Bill Holmes, Netflix’s global head of business development, as reported by Variety. “Our vast library of TV shows and movies, combined with Dish’s lineup of live television content, gives customers easy access to a wide variety of complementary programming.”
“Pairing Netflix with Hopper represents the consolidation of two incredible video experiences,” added Vivek Khemka, Dish senior VP of product management. “It gives our customers easy access to their favorite shows and movies, on both Dish and Netflix, without ever having to leave their Hopper.”
Dish Network claims it has roughly 14 million subscribers (which seems small in comparison to Netflix’s more than 50 million). Those Dish users who own the Hopper digital video recorder and already have a Netflix account will be able to access the SVOD’s content via a new app on Dish’s main menu. The Dish subscribers who don’t have a Netflix account yet will have to create one via the app or through netflix.com/dish.
Dish plans to roll out the app to more of its devices such as the Joey, Super Joey, and Wireless Joey. The pay-TV provider also wants to integrate Netflix’s titles into Dish’s search functions and into its upcoming over-the-top service. No release date has been announced for either of these plans as of yet.