Interactive TV News Round-Up (II): DISH Network, Blockbuster, Facebook, HealthiNation, Roku

--DISH Network, Blockbuster Launch DVD's-by-Mail/Instant-Streaming Service for DISH Subscribers
--Blockbuster to Launch Facebook App for Renting and Viewing Videos
--HealthiNation Enters Connected-TV Space via Launch on Roku

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us a couple of days 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. 

  • DISH Network and its subsidiary, Blockbuster, last week launched a combined instant-streaming/DVD's-by-mail service, called Blockbuster Movie Pass, that will initially be available only to DISH Network subscribers. "Beginning Oct. 1, 2011, Blockbuster Movie Pass is available for DISH Network customers, starting at $10 per month, combining the best of TV with the best of movies and games," the companies state in their press materials. "It features a pay-TV industry first: a subscription streaming movie service bundle available on the TV or PC. This programming package is unmatched by any other cable, satellite, telco or online streaming movie service. Blockbuster Movie Pass includes the following: 1) Mail It!--More than 100,000 DVD movies, TV shows and games available by mail. No additional charge for high-definition Blu-ray movies. One, two or three disc plans available. Queue management made conveniently from a link at 2) Stream it!--Stream more than 3,000 movies to the TV. Stream more than 4,000 movies to the PC. Watch hundreds of on-demand TV shows. 3) Play it!--More than 3,000 video games by mail for Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation2, PlayStation3, and Nintendo Wii. 4) Exchange it!--Unlimited exchanges of DVD's and video games at participating Blockbuster stores. 5) Watch it!--More than 20 premium entertainment movie channels from studios like MGM, Epix, Sony Movie Channel, PixL and more...From Oct. 1 through Jan. 31, 2012, DISH Network is offering new customers Blockbuster Movie Pass included with their DISH Network subscription for one year when they subscribe to DISH Network's America's Top 200 programming package or greater and commit to 24 months of DISH Network service. This is up to $360 in savings. Blockbuster Movie Pass is also included for three months for new DISH Network customers who subscribe to America's Top 120 programming package. After the promotional period, Blockbuster Movie Pass starts at just $10 per month. Access to the subscription streaming movie service requires a DISH Network HD DVR." Said DISH CEO, Joe Clayton: "With millions of Internet-enabled DISH Network set-top boxes deployed in US homes and our ability to offer services from the iconic Blockbuster brand, we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the myriad of ways consumers seek access to their favorite movies, TV shows or games. When you combine Blockbuster Movie Pass with a DISH Network subscription, you get endless entertainment options and convenient access to the content you want, when you want it. And unlike other companies, we offer the simplicity of one company, one bill and one connection."
  • In related news: Blockbuster has announced plans to launch an app that will allow consumers to rent and view movies through Facebook. "When renting movies from Blockbuster's expansive library, people can navigate the Blockbuster experience within Facebook, which will include discovery, search and video playback through an embedded player," the company states in its press materials. "The Blockbuster app is focused on transactional digital rentals, which include the newest releases as well as older favorites. Additionally, Blockbuster has integrated with Facebook to create a frictionless account-creation process."
  • HealthiNation, which offers health education and lifestyle programming via cable VOD, the Internet and other outlets, has launched a free channel on the Roku OTT platform. The launch represents HealthiNation's first connected-TV deployment. "Today's launch on Roku extends HealthiNation's multiplatform distribution offering which includes digital cable television, online, doctors' offices and employee wellness portals," the company states in its press materials. "Expanding the availability of HealthiNation content to connected-TV devices gives viewers access to dedicated health programming whenever they want and demonstrates HealthiNation's efforts to continue to deliver content to viewers across multiple screens. This new platform will also provide HealthiNation advertisers with more innovative ways to reach an engaged audience...HealthiNation content featured on Roku includes its latest 'reality-style' series 'Food Rescue,' as well as quick tips on everything from getting better sleep to five tips for a longer life. Roku customers can find HealthiNation in the Special Interests section of the Roku Channel Store."
North America