Netflix got Dreamworks this week, Amazon got FOX and now DiSH is set to offer a new online streamingv video offering, it's a great time to be an online streamer (though the Netflix deal doesn't affect me as I'm a non-user). New Blockbuster parent company, DiSH Networks is set to offer a steaming video service called Blockbuster Movie Pass to its subscribers.
The New Blockbuster Movie Pass
Earlier in the year DiSH bought the ailing, bankrupt Blockbuster and I figured they were going to use it to build on a streaming video service for their users. Woop Woop! I was correct! While the stores are still open there aren't nearly as many as there once were, when dinosaur VCRs roamed the land. Humans have evolved mostly away from that to online, on-demand video streaming. DiSH seems to have some understanding of this and so is working on building out Blockbuster as a streaming service value-added feature for its subscribers.
The Blockbuster streaming content adds Starz, Epix, Sony Movie Channel, and Encore to Dish's on demand library that includes Fox, TBS, TNT, Discovery, AMC, CN, DIY, HGTV, FOOD and History.
Well, it's more like a cost than a value add as it will be at least $10 a month but will offer both streaming movie access as well as video game rentals by mail and through the stores. That would undercut the current Netflix/Quickster combo by about $6.
Is The Blockbuster Movie Pass Worth It?
Starting next month, new DiSH subscribers can get a free year of the service on any package of $40 or more a month. Hmmm, that might be the tipping point to make me ditch Time Warner Cable since it's cheaper and I could get video game rentals by mail which would also save me money by allowing my to cancel or lower my GameFly account. Plus they've got Walt Disney and Sony releases (via Starz). It's not a complete solution though for video streamers since the library will be limited to 3,000 movies on TV and around 4,000 for computers outside of the TV shows they'll have access to.
Even with the $10 fee after a free year I could get away with a $50 package which would be cheaper. Well, it would be $39.99 for the first year and then $69.99 a month then and that would be too much.
I think DiSH is on the right track though. Combining up different types of services might be the way for them to retain some subscribers and get some new ones. Regular TV service plus streaming plus DVD/game rentals? That might be the golden egg for which I seek.
Now I am not all that juiced up about repackaging stuff because I would much prefer an a la carte TV channel solution. Let's face it, when am I going to watch 200 channels? Yet I would need to get their America's Top 200 package because it has BBC America, which I watch a lot of. However, that package is then $59.99 after the first year and that's just too pricey with the $10 add-on for the Blockbuster Movie Pass.
If I total up what I've got now, it's Time Warner Cable (no streaming service as I have no iPad) roughly $45, Hulu Plus at $7.99 and now GameFly (for game rentals by mail) $22.95 plus an occasional RedBox rental here and there. That's a total of (carry the one) $76…ish. Actually, DiSH + Blockbuster Movie Pass might save me $6 a month and I could get TV everywhere.
Aha, but there's a catch. DiSH said that the Blockbuster Movie Pass would start at $10/month. They then went on to say that there are one, two and three disc plans available. That GameFly account I have is a 2-disc plan, so if it was $15 through DiSH then it's just a $1 savings…theoretically.