A&E President Has a Plan to Fight Back Against the Cord Cutting Movement




As expected cable networks are not yet ready to give up their lucrative cable TV business in this age of cord cutting.

Yesterday at the Banff World Media Festival Sean Cohan, president of international and digital media at A&E Networks, said, “If you make great content and your brands are part of the cultural conversation, then you will be part of the skinny bundle.”

“When you are part of the cultural conversation, you get your screen and you know that brand. It jumps out at you,” he said of changing viewer habits. His comments came as TV execs in Banff debated how best to succeed amid an ever-growing maze of networks, streaming services, and international producers getting into the TV game.

So how does A&E Networks plan to do all of this? It seems a sports and news-free bundle is a big part of the plan. A&E Networks is teaming up with AMC, Discovery, and Viacom to offer a service free of news and sports.

Depending on what network you talk to some want it to be a sub $10 service and others have put the price point closer to $20 a month. Their hope seems to be if you can create great content subscribers will be more willing to stay with a traditional pay-TV service if the price is right. There is also hope that services like Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, or PlayStation Vue will pick up the new cheaper skinny bundles.

Cohan went on to argue that strong brands such as A&E, History, and Lifetime are key to engaging and retaining audiences.

Jim Packer, president of worldwide TV and digital distribution at Lionsgate Entertainment, said his own and other content producers have to work harder to find the best programming and platforms to reach viewers.

“We will be able to continue to grow our company and our creative, in spite of the fact that there’s 500 shows being made. Of the 500, there’s a lot of bad ones,” Packer countered.

So the question now is will this skinny bundle be enough to turn around the growth of cord cutting. Or is it too late to stop the rapid growth of cord cutting.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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