Dish Network's incoming CEO Joe Clayton has some fighting words for Netflix, according to an Associated Press interview yesterday.
"If I were them, I'd be watching what's going on," Clayton told the AP in reference to Netflix and its streaming service. "I'd stay tuned. Because no one's going to have a monopoly on this and I'm sure it's not just our company that's looking at trying to take a small piece of the pie from Netflix."
Last month, Dish finalized its $320 million acquisition of Blockbuster, making it a direct competitor to Netflix both in the video rental business and in streaming. The satellite provider said yesterday that any new subscriber to its service would receive a free three-month trial of Blockbuster by-mail DVD and Blu-ray rentals.
In addition, the company's Dish Online service has been growing quite rapidly. Last month, for example, Dish announced that HBO content, including "The Sopranos," and top films, would be made available on its online streaming service. Cinemax content was also made available to Dish Online customers.
To further bolster Dish's chances of competing with Netflix, Clayton, who was named CEO earlier this week and will officially take the reins at Dish in June, said that acquisitions will play a key role in his strategy going forward.
"We put the straight pieces of the puzzle together on the edges, now we're filling in the middle," he told the Associated Press. However, Clayton didn't say which companies Dish was potentially eying to help improve its chances of staying competitive.
Regardless, unseating Netflix could prove to be extremely difficult for Dish.
Netflix announced in its first-quarter earnings call last month that it now has over 23 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, thanks to the 3.3 million customers it added during the period. And those subscribers are increasingly turning to Netflix to get their entertainment fix.
According to a recent report from Sandvine, Netflix accounts for approximately 30 percent of all downstream traffic during peak time in the U.S. Late last year, the company's service accounted for 20 percent of downstream packets.
Dish and the rest of its competitors didn't even come close to matching Netflix. In fact, Web browsing came in second with 18 percent of all downstream traffic during peak time. YouTube and BitTorrent followed with 11 percent and 10 percent of downstream traffic, respectively.