Over the last few years, the growth of inexpensive streaming services has started to take a noticeable bite out of traditional pay-TV services.
Now companies such as Viacom, Discovery, A&E, and AMC are pushing for inexpensive sports-free packages and others are pushing streaming services. Both do not seem to be sitting well with the likes of Comcast and Charter.
According to reports, Comcast is telling cable companies that if they offer an inexpensive sports-free TV service Comcast will pull their NBC Sports (formally Comcast Sports Net) channels.
Now we hear that Charter is trying to penalize channels that participate in new skinny bundles.
Here is a statement from Viacom about Charter’s efforts:
“Despite these efforts, Charter continues to insist on unreasonable and extreme terms that are totally inconsistent with the market. As a result, we have not been able to reach a deal. Among the issues we face is Charter’s attempt to inhibit the creation of smaller, more innovative and less expensive packages of the networks customers want, by penalizing Viacom if it participates in new skinny bundles or OTT streaming platforms. This is an ultimatum that’s impossible to accommodate.”
This is an interesting move for both Comcast and Charter as they both are launching a streaming service for their Internet customers. Comcast has also made their NBCUniversal channels available to most live TV streaming services.
So what is happening? Clearly, the move to inexpensive streaming packages is starting to have an impact on the bottom line at many cable companies. Now the efforts to push for sports-free TV packages will take an even deeper bite into their profit margins.
What will happen next is unknown. With a growing list of live TV streaming services, it is unlikely that Comcast and Charter will be able to shut them down. Yet according to multiple reports from credible sources both Comcast and Charter are trying to slow them down.
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