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Dish a frontrunner to buy Hulu, plans rival to Netflix

updated 08:10 pm EDT, Fri September 2, 2011

Dish plans Internet video push with Hulu, more

Dish Network is planning a big push into direct competition with Apple, Netflix, and other big Internet video services through its acquisitions, two leaks showed Friday. One scoop had it one of just three companies clearing the The bid from Dish was an attempt to wiled the acquisition of Blockbuster to create a streaming competitor to Netflix, according to the tips. Motives for Amazon and Yahoo are more obvious and would see the former fill out content on Instant Video while Yahoo is eager to boost its ad revenue and get a paid subscription service.

A separate slip the same day backed up Dish's plans. Whether it bought Hulu or not, it hoped to have streaming up and running in October, Bloomberg said. It might also give users a bonus by letting them watch movies directly through pay-per-view on satellite and attach it to physical disc rentals as a bonus.

Dish might have a coup: one source hinted that Starz might have agreed to provide content even as it was turning down a deal with Netflix. The terms may lead to Dish having to impose tiered pricing as Starz tries to recreate the HBO model of premium video on the Internet.

The satellite provider's intentions were already widely suspected when it paid $320 million to clinch Blockbuster. The retail chain's access to movie rights would give Dish a leg up in negotiating for Internet rights as well as a club to threaten a severe blow to physical rentals if it doesn't get what it wants. Apple, Amazon, and Netflix have had to trade on their existing successes and clout in digital media to get their deals, but Dish didn't have that influence until it bought Blockbuster.

None of the involved parties agreed to comment.

by MacNN Staff



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