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DirecTV Prepping Netflix Killer? Hold Your Horses, DBS Op Says

DirecTV, seeing Netflix pack on 6.7 million net subscribers in the last two quarters, is wondering whether it should be offering a similar low-cost, over-the-top offering as well.

On Tuesday, DirecTV sent some customers a survey asking them whether they’re interested in a “Netflix-like service for a flat fee per month,” according to blogger Dave Zatz.

“[W]e would like you to evaluate a new service that DIRECTV is thinking about offering to their customers. DIRECTV plans to offer a streaming-only Netflix-like service for a flat fee per month, which would appear as a line item on your monthly bill,” the survey reads.

The service “would allow you to stream thousands of movies and television shows over a broadband Internet connection to your television, computer or tablet,” and include past seasons of current shows as well as older TV series and movies released “more than 5 years ago.”

Note that the satellite operator has run comparative national ads, pointing out that it offers many pay-per-view new releases 28 days ahead of Netflix

DirecTV’s reaction: “I would not read into this too deeply,” spokesman Darris Gringeri said in an e-mail.

He continued, “We are constantly reaching out to customers with various surveys and taking the temperature in the marketplace. It does not mean we are necessarily moving forward with anything contained within the survey, but merely checking in on the consumer mindset to keep our business strong.”

So that’s a definite maybe.

Meanwhile, Netflix clearly thinks Dish Network — which just closed the deal for the assets of bankrupt Blockbuster — is gunning for it.

Besides competition from the likes of Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime, “We also think Dish Network is likely to launch a substantial subscription streaming effort under the Blockbuster brand,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells wrote in a letter to investors Monday (see Netflix Hits 23.6 Million Total Subscribers).

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