Earlier this week, Spectrum and Disney ended their fight with Disney. Both sides agreed to bring back most Disney owned channels, but eight channels, including Disney Junior, Disney XD, Freeform, FXX, and more, are all being permanently removed from Spectrum cable TV.
So this raises the question of what now. Yes, Spectrum will be able to offer free Disney+ and ESPN+, but after that, this is the same old cable TV bundles we have seen for the last 30 years. Spectrum owns two streaming services, with Spectrum Choice, a service that lets you pick a small handful of channels you want but comes with a broadcast TV fee. Spectrum also owns 50% of Xumo Play in partnership with Comcast, which offers free access to movies and TV shows. So this raises the question of what is Spectrum’s strategy to offer a premium streaming service to compete with YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV and more.
If Spectrum is serious about keeping its live TV service and not walking away from live TV, it needs to seriously consider how it will offer a streaming version to compete with cord cutting.
Most cable TV companies now have a streaming service that offers live TV channels to anyone, not just customers who have their internet service, and that raises the question of why Spectrum does not. Comcast owns Xumo Play, Peacock, and Now TV. DISH owns Sling TV and Sling TV Freestream, DIRECTV has its streaming versions DIRECTV STREAM and DIRECTV via internet. You even see smaller cable TV companies ditching their live TV to launch streaming services or partner with YouTube TV.
So this raises the question should Spectrum build its own live TV service to compete with YouTube TV and Hulu + live TV from scratch or buy a live TV to help it grow?
If Spectrum decides to jump into live TV streaming by buying a company, one of the main options has to be Fubo. Recently Fubo and Spectrum struck a deal during the Disney blackout to give Fubo the status as their preferred subscriber. This could make Fubo a natural partner for Spectrum to launch a live TV streaming service. A second option for an independent service would be Vidgo.
Buying Fubo also brings more than just a live TV streaming in the United States. Fubo is also offered internationally and even has its own original content to help it stand out from the competition. Fubo is also one of the few live TV streaming services that offer a cable TV like package not currently owned by a major media company. Vidgo would be the other as Frndly and Philo both focus on slightly different markets.
By buying Fubo, Spectrum could finally bring some diversification to its live TV efforts from cable that can offer live TV in select areas to an international TV company. If Spectrum wants to compete in the world of live TV, it needs to consider diversifying itself outside of the traditional cable TV model it has now. The question now is would they want to build it themselves or if they will buy something like Fubo to help them grow.
There is a last option here Spectrum could just try and get as much from its cable TV service as it can before shutting it down once it becomes unprofitable.