With all the talk about FilmOn and Aereo and nimbleTV, I keep forgetting to mention another really important internet-based TV service. Janko Roettgers of GigaOM reminded us recently that for years, Dish Network has been streaming TV channels from other countries through its DishWorld brand. I remember when Dish started the service and saw it both as a smart way for Dish to shift transponder space to more English-language HD programming and as another sign that internet-delivered content would eventually supplant most satellite TV programming. We’ll see how that goes.
Dish is in a great position to run this international offshoot because of its longstanding relations with foreign programmers. On the other hand, a big part of nimbleTV’s true potential is to provide parallel programming packages by providing virtual cable subscriptions from Bangalore or wherever nimbleTV can work out a good deal. Never mind watching New York channels as you travel; imagine the folks from India and other countries on long-term assignments here with a chance to tap into everything they’d get at home. FilmOn has also been adding a fair number of foreign-language channels, so it’s always possible that it could become a player in this market segment.
True one-to-many broadcasting makes a lot of sense when a lot of people want to watch the same live event at the same time. For programming that only a small fraction of viewers want to see, DishWorld is showing what the TV world is coming to.