Since the start of 2023, it was predicted to be a big year for cord cutting. Now, though, it has become an even bigger year than expected as cable TV is being turned upside down on its head. Recently, multiple cable TV companies announced that they would be shutting down their TV services and partnering with YouTube TV, including WOW!. Sparklight and Breezline, cable TV companies, announced plans to launch their own streaming services to replace their traditional TV packages.
Of the top 15 live TV services, 9 of them offer a streaming version of their TV service or have partnered with YouTube TV to replace their TV service.
Now, the biggest change is that the 2nd largest live TV provider, Spectrum Cable TV, has let its contract with Disney expire and says it is willing to walk away from cable TV altogether. According to Spectrum, if Disney is unwilling to agree to a new distribution model for cable TV, Spectrum will be willing to go as far as just selling bundles of streaming services to its internet customers.
There are also other cable TV companies looking at options for its TV service. Atlic USA, the 4th largest cable TV company under the brand Optimum in the United States, says they are looking at all options, including outsourcing its TV service in new markets.
Just a few years ago, the idea that cable TV companies would walk away from TV was something nay could not dream of. Now, it is quickly becoming a regular occurrence as they say it is just not sustainable.
Spectrum recently made it clear the cable TV model is broken, and it is time for a change. If Spectrum gets its way with Disney, it likely won’t stop there as Paramount and NBCUniversal will also likely receive demand from Spectrum to offer their streaming services for free or as part of bundles to Spectrum customers.
How serious are they? According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, Spectrum and Disney’s last renewal in 2019 came close to ending Spectrum’s TV business. According to the report, Disney came close to walking away from cable TV, shutting it all down and focusing on its internet business back in 2019. This suggests that in 2023, when things are a lot worse now for cable TV, Spectrum is not bluffing when they say they may walk away from cable TV.
This is a major breaking point for cord cutting as the second-largest cable TV provider in the United States now says it is just not able to keep going. Instead, it demands Disney and likely others in the future make major changes.
Even Comcast recently launched Now TV, a live TV streaming service that includes its Peacock streaming service for $20 a month. In what will likely be a good example of what Spectrum is hoping to do.
No matter what happens with the Spectrum and Disney fight, it’s clear now that cable TV as we knew it is now over. Some may hold on for a bit to that model, but most cable TV companies in the top 10 US providers now offer some kind of streaming option.