DISH Launches Bitcoin Payments Program

DISH has started to accept bitcoin payments for TV bills through Coinbase.

DISH accepted its first bitcoin payment today as the payment option is now available for all DISH customers through website.  Photo: PopCultureGeek/Flickr

DISH accepted its first bitcoin payment today as the payment option is now available for all DISH customers through website. Photo: PopCultureGeek/Flickr

US-based quality satellite TV provider DISH has started accepting bitcoin payments for TV bills. The company has partnered with bitcoin merchant processor Coinbase.

DISH has previously announced that the program will be launched in the third quarter of 2014.

Austin and Beccy Craig will be the first DISH users to pay with bitcoin. The couple from America is going to chronicle their own documentary Life on Bitcoin, under which they will live 90 days using only bitcoin.

In an interview to CoinDesk, John Hall, DISH head of corporate communications, commented: “DISH has always been about investing in better customer experience, whether that’s changing the way that we watch TV or the way that we bill.”

Hills added that a new option will be visible for users of My DISH account and of its Hopper HD DVR devices.

“You can actually go into an app within the Hopper and pay your bill, and now if you choose bitcoin, it will come [up] with a QR code that you can pay right on your TV screen,” he said.

Speaking to CoinDesk, Beccy Craig told that although she has been DISH user before, she will resume the service in order to make payments with digital currency.

She also told how other services, like new DISH option, helped her through her experience with bitcoin.

She said: “I keep thinking about how nice it would’ve been to have when we were living on bitcoin. We were so limited in what we were doing even just day-to-day, like driving 40 miles each way to go get gas. We didn’t really have a lot of entertainment when we were living on bitcoin.”

Meantime, Austin Craig said: “We had a lot of time to read books and take hikes, but there were not very many luxuries like DISH.”

The couple told that they even booked their airline tickets and made hotel reservations with bitcoin. Their experience will be chronicled as part of the documentary ‘Life on Bitcoin’, which is unreleased yet.

Hall noted that although the firm is excited about the new option, it is still not sure what response to expect from customers.

He said: “To be quite honest, it’s too early to tell. [We’ve] heard some pretty good feedback from consumers that are interested in doing this with DISH, which is encouraging, but you can’t really put a number on what the response will be.”

The company does not expect a large number of new subscribers at first, but hopes the amount will escalate in the future.

Hall added: “Likely we’ll start slow and go from there.”

DISH is now the second-largest bitcoin company with an annual profit of $13.9 million.

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