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Dish Launches ESPN, ABC and Disney Internet-Video Services

Television IndustryTelevisionABCESPNApple TVABC Family (tv network)

Dish Network is now officially on the Mouse House's TV Everywhere list.

The development could help encourage the satcaster's subscribers to stick with the pay-TV service, instead of switching an over-the-top option -- including the OTT package Dish itself is in the process of assembling.

Dish's 14 million subscribers now have access to five of Disney's Internet-video services with both live and on-demand programming on an array of devices: Watch ABC, WatchESPN, Watch ABC Family, Watch Disney Channel and WatchDisneyXD.

Dish is adding the services under the multiyear distribution pact with Disney reached earlier this month. Deal also gives Dish unprecedented rights to offer linear and video-on-demand content from ABC-owned broadcast stations, ABC Family, Disney Channel, ESPN and ESPN2 for an over-the-top pay-TV service. But so far, the satcaster has offered few details about its OTT plans.

To make sure it doesn't cannibalize its core biz, Dish is positioning a prospective Internet-delivered pay-TV service as cheaper -- $20-$30 per month. Moreover, the OTT rights from Disney limit Dish to one stream per subscriber at once. With Dish now giving satellite TV subs access to streaming video from Disney's networks, in addition to other cablers, a pure OTT service doesn't have a multiscreen advantage.

SEE ALSO: Disney Deal Gives Dish the Rights for a Virtual-MSO Foray

Later this year, Dish expects to add access to Watch Disney Junior as well as authenticated services from the SEC ESPN Network, expected to launch in August 2014, and Longhorn Network.

Watch ABC provides live network streams of ABC, currently only in the eight markets where the network owns and operates the stations: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Fresno, Calif., Philadelphia and Raleigh-Durham, N.C. (Hearst Television agreed to launch Watch ABC in 13 markets but those aren't live yet.)

The WatchESPN service, meanwhile, includes content from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU, ESPNews and ESPN Deportes. In addition, ESPN Goal Line (a whip-around channel for college football) and ESPN Buzzer Beater (for college basketball) will be available on WatchESPN when those channels are in season. WatchESPN is available on mobile smartphone and tablet platforms as well as Xbox 360, Xbox One, Apple TV and Roku.

SEE ALSO: ESPN Launches 15 College Conference Channels on Apple TV, Roku

For ABC and ABC Family, in addition to live streaming, Dish subs can watch the most recent episodes of the networks' original series the day after they air online at ABC.com and ABCFamily.com or on smartphones and tablets via the Watch ABC and Watch ABC Family apps, which are available free to download in the App Store, Google Play Store, Amazon Appstore and Windows Store. Watch ABC is also accessible on Apple TV.

Watch Disney Channel and Watch DisneyXD apps are free to download in the App Store and Amazon Appstore; the networks are also accessible on the web and via Apple TV and Roku set-tops.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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