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Dish Network Is Latest Pay TV Player to Mull Premium VOD Service

The satellite TV provider is in talks with studios to offer early-release films under similar terms as competitor DirecTV.

NEW YORK – Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network is considering a premium VOD service that would offer Hollywood movies about eight weeks after their theatrical release, an executive of the satellite TV provider told Bloomberg.

Dish executive vp Tom Cullen, who oversees programming, sales and marketing, said in a Bloomberg interview that it is eyeing similar terms as competitor DirecTV offers via its Home Premiere service, which launched last month with content deals with four studios. The service is getting select films eight weeks after their theatrical start for $29.99.

Dish is in negotiations with Hollywood studios, and no final decision has been made on whether to introduce the service, said Cullen. A spokesman confirmed the report, saying "it's a potential service we are evaluating."

Cable giant Comcast has also been exploring a possible premium VOD service.

Exhibitors have criticized the premium VOD window as coming too soon after theatrical releases. The National Association of Theatre Owners recently called on the four Hollywood studios participating in the premium VOD experiment to release sales figures for titles offered in the window.