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Roku has already been turning its players into TV hubs, but it's been focused on US programming -- not so hot if you're an immigrant hoping to catch up on affairs back in the homeland. Dish is aiming to remedy that by offering its Dishworld service as an avenue for the media hub: owners can subscribe to over 50 channels without having to spring for a satellite package. The focus is heaviest on south Asia, with Bangladesh, India and Pakistan getting the most service -- including a few cricket channels for good measure. Arab channels like Al Jazeera and Brazilian channels like TV Globo Internacional join the fray as well. Roku 2 and Roku LT viewers living in the US can already subscribe to Dish's service in tiers that start at $20 a month, though Roku HD owners will have to sit tight until the summer to practice their Hindi.

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DISH and Roku Ink Strategic Partnership for International Programming

DISH Launches DISHWorld Service on Roku Streaming Platform

SARATOGA, Calif. & ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DISH Network L.L.C. and Roku, Inc. announced a deal that launches the DISHWorld service on the Roku streaming platform in the U.S. Featuring more than 50 international programming channels including the leading Hindi, Arabic, Urdu, Bangla and Brazilian channels, the DISHWorld service launched today enables DISH to expand its distribution of ethnic channels into urban and multi-dwelling unit markets difficult to reach by satellite. Additionally, Roku selected DISH to manage the launch and expansion of future foreign language channels and content on the Roku platform.

"DISH offers the largest selection of international programming among major pay-TV providers and its DISHWorld service brings a tremendous amount of foreign language entertainment to our platform," said Jim Funk, vice president of business development at Roku. "We see this partnership as the perfect marriage of content and technology for streaming customers."

"We view Roku's extensive product distribution and established platform as an excellent match for our international content offerings as we look to develop markets that historically have been difficult for us to reach," said Chris Kuelling, vice president of international programming at DISH. "Consumers in apartment buildings, condos and dormitories who seek ethnic programming now have an easy way to enjoy their favorite channels without the need for a satellite dish."

Roku players are affordable, easy to use and widely available online and at retail outlets.

The DISHWorld service offers a variety of live foreign language programming including sports, movies, news, children's programs, music, cooking shows, talk shows and general entertainment. With five languages available at launch, DISH plans to quickly expand its DISHWorld language and programming options on the Roku platform. At launch the service includes:

An extensive offering of Arabic channels including MBC, Al Arabiya and Al Jazeera;

Market-leading Hindi channels including aapka Colors, Sony, SET Max, Star Plus, Zee TV, B4U and aaj Tak;

Willow Cricket and TEN Cricket with eight Cricket Boards and more than 150 days per year of live cricket;

Seven of Pakistan's most popular television channels including GEO TV, ARY Digital and Hum TV;

Four popular channels from Bangladesh including ATN Bangla, Channel I, ETV Bangla and NTV Bangla;

TV Globo Internacional and PFC which showcase the best Brazilian television programs and soccer events.

In addition to a deep selection of content, the DISHWorld service will feature "48-hour Rewind" that allows customers to watch any show aired in the last 48 hours on any of the channels featured in their subscription package.

Through an application developed by Move Networks, a DISH affiliate, the DISHWorld service uses adaptive bitrate streaming to detect user bandwidth in real time and adjust video stream quality to deliver a consistently clear picture.

The DISHWorld service is available to purchase in the Roku Channel Store on Roku 2 and Roku LT players and is expected to be available on the Roku HD player (model 2500R) this summer. Programming packages start as low as $19.99 per month. No social security number, credit check, minimum term or DISH satellite subscription is required. To subscribe, please visit www.dishworldiptv.com.