Dish to offer live streaming of programming to customers

Dish will allow free access to its programming on subscribers' mobile devices under plans first disclosed by the Associated Press on Thursday. The content will include live streaming as well as programming saved to the consumer's DVR. The offering requires either a Slingbox or a Slingbox-enabled DISH DVR.

The service will launch in October and be available to users of iOS devices as well as the BlackBerry. It was not immediately clear how the functionality would differ from the standard Slingbox offering.

A tie-in between Dish and Slingbox shouldn't be unexpected -- the satellite provider acquired the company in September 2007 for $380 million. It should be mentioned that Dish split from parent EchoStar in December of that same year, and Sling is controlled by EchoStar.

Regardless, the two companies are closely knit, with Dish CEO Charles Ergen also being the chairman of EchoStar. Dish focuses on the satellite television service end, while EchoStar provides the technology behind it.

Slingboxes retail for between $180 and $300 depending on the model. The Sling-enabled DVR box would set the consumer back between $200 and $400, and will require a $10 per month multi DVR fee for the service to work.

Apps from Dish are already available in Apple's App Store, however they only allow for remote scheduling of programming, and viewing of upcoming programming, as well as using the device as a remote. There are no capabilities to be able to view programming remotely.

The live streaming functionality is planned to be delivered to users of the application via an update. There would be no additional charge for the live streaming above the multi-DVR fee, reports indicate.

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