DirecTV May Take on Netflix With Stream Video Sub Service

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NEW YORK -- A day after Dish Network closed its acquisition of Blockbuster, which it is expected to use to strengthen streaming video offers, it emerged Wednesday that satellite TV rival DirecTV is thinking about launching a Netflix-type streaming service.

Janney Montgomery Scott analyst Tony Wible in a report Wednesday mentioned a DirecTV survey that mentions that such a new service is being mulled.

Said Wible: "Shortly after Dish purchased Blockbuster, DirecTV started to circulate the following survey, which may suggest that DirecTV is also looking to start a streaming service."

The survey said that the satellite TV giant is "thinking about" offering "a streaming-only Netflix-like service for a flat fee per month, which would appear as a line item on your monthly bill."

It added: "The service would allow you to stream thousands of movies and television shows over a broadband Internet connection to your television, computer or tablet. The content available would likely be past season of current shows as well as older TV series and older movie released (released more than five years ago)."

It didn't detail the likely monthly subscription fee or a launch date. It also didn't say whether the service would be limited to DirecTV subscribers.

A DirecTV spokesman said the company is regularly reaching out to customers with surveys to take the temperature of the marketplace. "It does not mean we are necessarily moving forward with anything contained within the survey, but merely checking in on the consumer mindset to keep our business strong," he said.

Wible on Wednesday said that the DirecTV survey is just the latest sign that competition for Netflix in streaming video will heat up. He reiterated that he expects "an increase incompetition that will likely trigger an increase in content costs and subscriber acquisition costs."

DirecTV has been looking to beef up its video offerings in new areas.  Last week, it launched its premium VOD service for early-release films.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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