NEW YORK (The Street) -- Dish Networks (DISH - Get Report) has become something of a test case for big media companies eager to make their content more available over the Internet as opposed to via a cable-TV wire.
Having landed Time Warner's (TWX) HBO for its Sling TV online service, Dish on Tuesday said it will make its recently launched Netflix (NFLX - Get Report) app available to its so-called Joey customers, making it the first TV provider to offer Netflix's 'whole-home' experience that allows viewing from more than one room.
"You can already have a whole-home Netflix with [an internet-based] subscription, but Dish is the first to offer Netflix connected essentially to every television," said Netflix spokesman Cliff Edwards. Dish first offered Netflix though its Hopper set-top boxes in December.
By creating in Sling TV a platform where customers can access both Netflix and HBO Now, Dish is in the enviable position of being able to measure user behavior between the two premium streaming services. Sling TV is also being watched by Disney (DIS - Get Report), which agreed to allow Sling TV to carry ESPN, the highest priced cable-TV channel -- which doubles as the glue that holds together the traditional pay-TV bundle.
Netflix, which already has partnerships with other cable providers, is seeing "lots of folks who are interested" in providing a similar whole-home Netflix viewing option to what Dish now does, but he said Netflix is not announcing specific plans yet.
About 40% of U.S. households subscribe to some type of subscription-based video-on demand service such as Netflix, Amazon (AMZN - Get Report) Prime or Hulu Plus. Netflix leads its peers, covering about 36% of the market as of November, according to Nielsen's 2014 Total Audience Report.
Dish Networks also said it's also rolling out a Vevo app to Hopper customers, making it the first pay-TV provider to do so, Dish spokeswoman Emily O'Donnell said. The app for Vevo, a music-video hosting service co-owned by Google (GOOGL - Get Report), Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Abu Dhabi Media, will offer more than 140,000 music videos.
"While music videos were once a driving force in TV entertainment, we've seen a shift in programming that drove this content online to sites like Vevo, where it continued to draw high viewership," Vivek Khemka, Dish senior vice president of product management, said in a statement. "Together with Vevo, we are making it easier for Hopper customers to be able to view music videos on their TV screens."
On April 9, Dish said it was adding HBO to its Sling TV programming lineup, offering it to customers as a premium option for an extra $15 a month. That made it the only live Internet TV service to give viewers access to shows like "Game of Thrones" and "Silicon Valley," on both a live or video-on-demand basis. Sling TV's core $20-per-month package offers a skinny-bundle subscription to 20 channels such as HGTV, TNT, and A&E.
"As more millennials cut the cable cord, HBO is increasingly appealing to that market," said Wedbush media analyst Michael Pachter in an April 14 report.
Dish also said on April 6 that Outside Television, an outdoor lifestyle channel based on Outside Magazine, will be included in its multi-sports pack of 35 sports channels for an extra $5 per month.
Dish was down 0.8% to $69.90 on Tuesday while NFLX was slipping 0.3% to $473.41, trimming its 2015 advance to 38%. Netflix, which has been focused on international expansion lately, including in Australia and New Zealand, is scheduled to report first-quarter results after the closing bell.