Dish Network just announced a huge move that could get them a lot of new subscribers. The company says it will offer up an Internet only package for about $20 a month.
Dish will offer a package of channels, including ESPN and CNN, starting at $20 a month. The availability of ESPN as part of the Internet package addresses a major reason people were loath to "cut the cord" — live sports. NFL games will be blocked on mobile devices, however, because Verizon has those rights.
Dish said it isn't worried that its current subscribers will cancel satellite service in favor of the cheaper Internet package. Rather, Dish is hoping to lure those who don't pay for TV channels at all because they find it too expensive.
"A lot of big incumbents don't like change, but everything else is changing around you," says Joe Clayton, Dish's CEO. "Technology is broadening the consumer viewing opportunity, and they are taking advantage of that."
The $20 price for Dish's basic package will be far cheaper than what people would pay for a cable or satellite. (Dish said its average monthly bill is about $85.) Dish says it keeps the Internet service cheap by excluding most over-the-air network channels, which can be costly for pay-TV providers as broadcasters demand higher fees. An Internet service also won't require special equipment, such as a satellite and receiver dishes. For those who want more than the basic channels, Dish will offer various add-ons for $5 each, including extra channels for sports and a package for kids.
If Dish's package offers up the Golf Channel, expect to see FTVLive cutting the cord in 2015.