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Dish Expands Movie Channels

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Satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp. (DISH) continues to expand its movie channel lineups with the addition of popular TV channel Encore, which belongs to the Liberty Starz group, a business arm of Liberty Media Corporation (LMCA).

Dish Network customers will be able to see movies from seven different Encore channels for free until July 24, 2012. Encore has a huge collection of movies of different genres, with 33.6 million subscribers in the U.S.

A few days back, Dish Network terminated the service of AMC Networks Inc. (AMCX) following the expiration of its contract last month. So, in order to replace AMC Networks’ channels, the company is adding different channels like HDNet Movies, HDNet, Encore and Style to its program list.

At present, Dish Network is offering multiple movie viewing options to its subscribers, whether it is through different movie channels or Video on Demand (VOD) service. Moreover, its partnership with EPIX (a premium video-on-demand service provider) also offers unlimited online movies to subscribers through DISHOnline.com.

Additionally, with the acquisition of Blockbuster Inc., the company can now offer streaming and mail-order video services to its customers, hence expanding its movie delivery options.

Stiff competition from other pay-TV service providers and online movie distribution companies has induced Dish Network to continuously expand its movie viewing avenues for its subscribers, thereby reducing its subscriber churn.

Currently, Dish Network has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock. We are also maintaining our long-term Neutral recommendation on the company’s shares.

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