Today, Nexstar the largest owner of ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC stations, put out a new presentation to investors. In that presentation, the company says it believes that cable TV losses will come to an end. According to Nexstar, cable TV subscribers will be able to enjoy a superior experience, enabling them to access all the content in one aggregated product.
In the presentation, Nexstar said, “MVPD churn will moderate, and subscriber levels will stabilize.” (MVPD is an industry term for cable TV like providers.) Why does Nexstar believe that will happen? According to Nexstar, “Pay TV subscribers will continue to enjoy a superior experience, enabling them to access all content in one aggregated product.”
The question now is how exactly does Nexstar think that will happen. Many of the most popular shows and a growing number of sporting events are no longer offered on cable TV. For example, Thursday Night NFL Football is only streamed on Amazon. Recently, the NFL played a game that only streamed on Disney+ and ESPN+. Not only that, but many of the most popular new shows are on streaming services like Disney+ and Paramount+.
To make cable a one-stop place for Americans to find everything, Spectrum’s recent deal with Disney could be a good example. Recently, Spectrum agreed to include the price of Disney+ and ESPN+ into the cost of its TV services. For Nexstar to say cable will become a one-stop shop for all content, it would have to be expecting cable TV to reach deals to offer free Paramount+, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, Max, and so many other services.
The next question would be how expensive would this new massive cable TV plus streaming bundle be. For Spectrum to include Disney+ and ESPN+ it resulted in Disney agreeing to drop eight networks from Spectrum. We still don’t know what the long-term price impacts of this deal between Spectrum and Disney will be. For now, we will have to wait and see what happens.
The question now would a massive bundle of cable networks, locals, and streaming services really be the thing that draws Americans back to cable TV? Or would that price of that continue to push Americans to cheaper streaming-only options?