The success of such "over the top" networks as Glenn Beck's TheBlaze, which Dish also distributes to what Beck says are more than 300,000 subscribers, is going to be a huge challenge to cable, which sells "channels" in bundles and acts as a gatekeeper to programmers.
Dish's strategy is aimed at giving viewers any channel they want, for any price they wish to pay, anywhere they want it, and to deliver it by going over, around and through cable gatekeeping in any way it can.
A hint of future innovation in this direction may be seen in a newly approved patent that could allow ready connections between its satellite system, mobile networks, and cars. The patent given to Stefan Bernard Raab and assigned to Dish, enables roadside assistance but could be a sign of things to come.
The Internet has remade dozens of industries over the last 20 years and, through Dish, may be about to remake cable as well.At the time of publication the author had no investments in companies mentioned in this story. Follow @danablankenhorn This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.