Entertainment developments that Netflix may want to watch:
First, did a dispute over ad-skipping technology inadvertently lead to a potential Netflix challenger? Dish Network and Disney, which had been battling over Dish’s Hopper technology, have reached an agreement that will delay for three days after the initial broadcast customers’ ability to view recorded ABC shows stripped of commercials. But wait, there’s more, and it could be huge: Dish also secured streaming rights to live local broadcasts of ABC TV shows and live and on-demand programming from Disney, including ESPN. (By the way, Netflix has a deal that gives it exclusive rights to stream Disney movies starting in 2016.)
Will the Dish-Disney lead to a new Internet TV offering from Dish and change the status quo? Some say not as much as we’d probably like: “If Dish — or any other big player, for the foreseeable future — is going to sell TV on the Web, it’s going to look a whole lot like the pay-TV services that exist today: You’re going to have to buy a bunch of channels, whether or not you watch them. And you’re not going to save much money,” writes Peter Kafka at re/code.
The other potential Netflix challenger is game-rental service Gamefly, which VentureBeat reports has launched a new movie-rental business — the kind where physical DVDs and Blu-ray discs are mailed to customers. So Gamefly’s test service would just be aiming to compete with one part of Netflix’s game. While Netflix still mails out disc-stuffed red envelopes, it has shifted its focus to its streaming business.
Photo of Netflix headquarters by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images