A lot of big companies have tried to roll out Web-based TV services, only to fall flat on their faces. DISH Network (NASDAQ: DISH ) appears to have succeeded, striking a groundbreaking deal with Disney (NYSE: DIS ) that will allow the country's second largest satellite television provider to stream live and on-demand shows from Disney's ABC, ESPN, and its namesake cable channel.
This is the first deal of its kind. Broadcasters and premium cable networks have been hesitant to offer up their content as truly mobile streams, fearing that folks will cherry-pick the channels they watch.
How did a satellite-TV giant get the family-entertainment giant to hop on? Money played a factor, but DISH also promised that it would disable its customers' ability to skip through ads while a show is still relatively new. In other words, the difference between DISH and everybody else that's flopped in trying to put together an "over-the-top" streaming service is that it had a disruptive technology -- the ad-zapping Hopper DVR -- that it could use as a negotiating chip.
It's about time. Future generations may laugh when they hear that you used to pay ridiculous bills for access to hundreds of channels when all your really watched was a dozen at best.
Briefly in the news
And now let's look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.
- Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU ) is banking on new endeavors. China's leading search engine revealed on Friday that it has formed a partnership to apply for a private banking license. Remember when Baidu was just an Internet search company? Its CEO sees finance as the next industry the Internet will topple.
- Jamba (NASDAQ: JMBA ) posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly deficit on Thursday. This is a seasonally sleepy quarter for the smoothie chain, but it still managed to post positive comps, making it three straight years of growing comps for the Jamba Juice parent.
- Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA ) is investing in European growth. The electric-car maker announced that it will open more than 30 sales and service centers through Europe as well as beef up its network of Supercharger stations that provide complimentary recharges for Tesla owners.
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