For years TV has had a fairly set model. Content companies like CBS, NBC, and Disney would license their content out to other networks not only in the United States but around the world. Now with streaming and the growth of cord cutting companies like these are looking to ditch the middle man.
Increasingly media companies are cutting out middle men and going direct to the end users. CBS, for example, has started to sell CBS All Access in Canada. In the United States, many content owners from India have pulled their rights from US cable companies and started to offer online subscription services for US customers.
Now Disney, CBS, and NBC have all announced plans to offer a direct-to-consumer product in 2019 and 2020. This allows content owners to sell directly to the end viewer without having to let cable companies—often owned by their competitors—take a cut.
We are still a long way from completely cutting out the middle man; however, we are moving in that direction. There has even been rumors that some day Disney plans to sell ESPN directly through ESPN+.
Other networks, including Viacom and Discovery, have hinted at plans for their own streaming services. Details are still thin but executives at both companies are pushing hard to have their own option to fall back on as cable numbers continue into fall.
What we are seeing is the foundation for the future of TV being set. Exactly how that will look is still unknown. Unlike five years ago networks like CBS, NBC, and Disney are not nearly as powerful as they once were.
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