Commitment-phobic pay-TV fans may be closer to getting what they want.In an industry-first agreement of its kind, Disney agreed to grant Dish Network the right to offer its content, including ESPN and ABC, in a streaming-only service without requiring a set-top box.
Analysts believe that it’s only a matter of time before the pay-TV industry has to offer an Internet-only option, and the Dish-Disney deal is the clearest sign yet that the industry may reluctantly play along. Satellite competitor DIRECTV has also suggested it might offer a lower-priced Net service with basic channels and, in a statement to USA TODAY, says it is working on its own similar agreement with Disney.
But that’s not to say that pay-TV companies haven’t been aggressive online. Their streaming option menus expand every day – albeit they still require a monthly subscription and the set-top box. Here are some of the streaming services provided by top pay-TV operators:
*DIRECTV. The DIRECTV Everywhere service lets subscribers watch 100 live TV channels at home and 30 channels out of the home — and on-demand content – on Android and iOS smartphones when connected to WiFi and on cellular networks.
* DISH Network. With Dish’s Hopper with Sling service and its Dish Anywhere app, subscribers can watch all of its 290-plus live TV channels, as well as DVR recordings and on demand content at home and away via WiFi or cellular connections. You can also transfer recordings to devices for viewing when not at home and without an Internet connection.
* Time Warner Cable. In-home streaming of 300 live channels to tablets and other devices (Roku, XBox) via TWC TV app. Broadcast channels offered in four markets with more planned. . Some 37 live channels and 40 on-demand channels are available for outside-the-home streaming.
* Comcast. It streams 40 channels in or out of the home via Xfinity TV Go app or XfinityTV.com. On-demand videos can be downloaded for later offline viewing. New X1 DVR with cloud technology, launched in Boston, live-streams all channels at home and allows viewing of recorded shows anywhere.
* Cox Communications. It offers in-home streaming of 133 channels to tablets via its Contour app. Broadcast channels are available only in Orange County, Calif.
* AT&T U-Verse. It offers in-home streaming of 136 live channels on U-verse app and UVerse.com. I has 44 live-channels for streaming outside the home on the app.
* Verizon FiOS: It offers in-home streaming of 91 live channels on Verizon FiOS Mobile app on tablets and other devices (Roku, XBox), and 31 live channels for streaming outside the home on the app.