News Round-Up (III): DISH Network, Sling Media, Epix, Netflix, ESPN

--DISH to Let Subscribers Access TV on iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android
--Report: Epix Negotiating Five-Year, $1 Billion Exclusive Streaming Deal with Netflix
--ESPN Secures VOD Rights to Archived English Premier League Soccer Matches

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been on the road the past few weeks, we are covering recent news stories in summary/round-up form. We anticipate that it will take a few days for us to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us. We apologize for any inconvenience to our readers.

  • DISH Network is set to use the Sling Media TV placeshifting technology of its corporate stablemate, EchoStar, to enable its subscribers to watch TV on the Apple iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and the RIM BlackBerry platforms starting next month, and on the Android platform in October, according to a report by the Associated Press's Deborah Yao. In order to take advantage of the placeshifting capability, DISH subscribers will have to have installed the DISH Remote Access app on their device, and will need a Slingbox or a SlingLoaded EchoStar ViP 922 DVR. In related news: DISH has announced the launch of an iPad version of the DISH Remote Access app. "Similar to the version available for the iPhone and iPod touch, DISH Remote Access for the iPad is a fully featured remote DVR scheduler that provides DISH Network customers with complete access to all DVR functions and features," the company states in its press materials. "Users can schedule DVR recordings on multiple receivers, delete timers, browse and search nine days of shows, and manage their DVR libraries by setting recording priorities, resolving recording conflicts and deleting programs they have already watched. The DISH Remote Access app is compatible with most DISH Network SD and HD DVR receivers including the ViP 922, the world's only DVR with built-in Sling technology...The iPad-optimized DISH Remote Access app also includes a unique feature that transforms an iPad into a remote control for televisions connected to compatible DISH Network receivers. Using the iPad as a remote control, customers can change channels, browse the program guide, start playing recorded programs and enjoy all standard remote navigation features such as fast-forward, rewind and pause."
  • Epix, a subscription-based multiplatform (linear, VOD, online) premium programming service which is a joint venture between Viacom's Paramount Pictures arm, MGM and Lionsgate, is in "serious negotiations" to give Netflix exclusive online rights to films from its parent companies in a five-year deal, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times. The deal is expected to see Netflix paying Epix around $1 billion in licensing fees over its term, though the Times notes that there are still "outstanding issues" that must be resolved before the deal is closed, including "when exactly Epix would allow Netflix to start streaming its movies."
  • ESPN has secured VOD rights to archived soccer matches from England's Premiere League, as part of a new multi-year deal with the league. "In regards to VOD rights, those are an addition in this deal and we'll explore what we can do with various platform partners in regards to VOD--both in the UK and Europe--but there are no specific plans to share at the moment," an ESPN spokesperson stated. Paid Content UK has more.


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