Dish Network: We’re now the largest company to accept bitcoin

You can add paying your TV provider to the list of things you can do with bitcoin. Satellite-TV service Dish(s dish) announced today that it will begin accepting bitcoin later this year. With 14 million subscribers, Dish claims it is now the largest company to accept the cryptocurrency — joining a club of companies like and Virgin Galactic. The TV giant is negating some of the risk that comes with accepting bitcoin by using Coinbase’s Instant Exchange feature to immediately transfer bitcoin into USD. Still, the ability to pay a big company’s monthly bill marks another real world application for bitcoin.

DirecTV next in line to get internet TV rights from Disney

Looks like Dish’s (S DISH) internet TV deal with Disney (S DIS) may open the floodgates for news about similar arrangements: Reuters is reporting that DirecTV is in negotiations with Disney about also launching an internet-based TV service with programming from ABC and ESPN. DirecTV’s retransmission agreement with Disney is up soon, so the timing couldn’t be better.

Dish supercharges its DVR with new apps and accessories

Dorky product names? Check. Features that will make broadcasters antsy? Check. Dish (S DISH) announced a number of updates to its Hopper DVR at CES in Las Vegas Monday, including a new extender called Super Joey that makes it possible to record up to eight shows at the same time on the DVR’s 2TB hard drive and mobile apps that offer the ability to transfer recorded files onto your iOS or Android device. Dish is also extending the Hopper with new apps for Playstation (S SNE) 3 and 4 as well as LG TVs, essentially offering multi-room DVR functionality without the need for additional boxes. It’s all not revolutionary, but should still keep Hopper users happy.

Could Dish drop ESPN?

Prepare for the next TV blackout: Dish and Disney are currently in negotiations about their next deal, and the Hollywood Reporter is reminding us that their deadline coming up at the end of the month. After that, blackouts are possible. But could Dish go nuclear and drop Disney’s ESPN network? Most people don’t think so, but Dish boss Charlie Ergen recently said that it may be time to take that step.