Disney-Dish Network pact may alter TV viewing habits

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Walt Disney and satellite TV provider Dish Network's sweeping new agreement could lead to changes in the way consumers watch television.

The comprehensive distribution deal is expected to become a blueprint on how the television industry treats the increasingly important digital rights for valuable programming. Wireless television service would create a new business opportunity for Dish, which provides service to 14 million customers. The planned service would be designed to appeal to the so-called never-connected generation of young people, who consume much of their entertainment via computers and tablets, and thus have been difficult recruits for traditional cable and satellite TV providers.

"It would hit a market that they want to reach -- single people, young couples -- those who don't otherwise subscribe to pay TV," said Michael Nathanson of the Moffett-Nathanson research firm. If and when it arrives, Dish's Internet service might look a lot like what Dish offers now — a set package of channels -- and not the "a la carte" service that some consumer activists have been demanding from the industry.

Disney-Dish Network pact may alter TV viewing habits Pay TV providers move towards streaming future (USAToday)