Viacom CEO Opens Up About Its Planned Sports-Free Service




Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of talk about a possible sports- and news-free streaming service.

Discovery, Viacom, and AMC are all behind this effort. They all also do not own any sports or news channels, which allows them to make more per channel because they wouldn’t have to split the $20 monthly fee with other channel owners.

Now it seems that they are getting closer to a deal. In a recent talk with investors at the JPMorgan Tech, Media, and Telecom Conference, Bob Bakish, the CEO of Viacom, said a sports-free option could be out as soon as this year.

“That will be a very exciting development in the marketplace, and is a very positive development for Viacom,” the CEO says. According to Mr. Bakish MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and BET “have the largest share of viewing on pay TV for every demographic that we serve.”

Now according to both the CEO of Viacom and the CEO of Discovery, they are working with cable and satellite services to offer a news- and sports-free package. It is also reported that you could see this package on services such as Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW as a requirement of having the option on DISH and DIRECTV.

While the service has many backers, there are many opponents. Both Fox and Disney are said to be unwilling to join the service. Both have big stakes in sports channels with FS1 and ESPN. Fox also has Fox News and Fox Business, and it doesn’t want to do anything that could harm them.

So it is unlikely you would find Disney channels or Fox-owned channels on the service—some of the most popular channels on cable and streaming services.

For now we will have to wait and see what this new cord cutting service will offer.

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