The service was first rumored way back in 2012 as part of an overall plan by Dish to become more competitive than rival DirecTV as well as cable television providers like Comcast. The biggest advantage of an IP-based TV service would be that you can access it regardless of your location, something that you can’t really do with competing services. (The one exception would have been Aereo, but that service shut down after last month’s Supreme Court decision.)
The licensing deal will apparently bring all currently airing TV shows from A&E’s stable of cable stations, including A&E, History, H2, Lifetime, fyi, and the Military History channel. But customers won’t be able to access a direct linear feed from those channels. Instead, they will be given on-demand access to shows.
Dish also previously signed a similar deal with Disney to air content from Disney-owned cable channels via its unlaunched web TV service. However, if Dish really wants to make a go at a competitive IP-based TV service, it’ll need to sign on plenty of other media partners — namely Viacom, which owns Comedy Central, Spike, and MTV.