Viacom Teases a Skinny Bundle
It seems that more and more programming providers are talking about creating packages of services outside of the normal cable distribution platform. The latest appears to be Viacom.
While Viacom appeared to burn bridges with many cable operators a couple of years ago with a contentious (and expensive) renewal through the NCTC that saw many small operators saying "I No Longer Want My MTV!", it now is attempting to come up with a proposal that may appeal to cable companies wanting to offer more targeted packages of channels to customers.
Viacom CEO Bob Bakish spoke of the initiative Monday during his keynote breakfast at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom conference in Boston. Bakish referenced the slew of OTT skinny bundle offerings that are hitting the market at around $40. He told J.P. Morgan media analyst Alexia Quadrani that what he called the “entertainment pack” option would probably be priced around $10-$20. -- Variety, May 22, 2017
It is unclear at this point whether Viacom is talking about allowing operators to package their "entertainment pack" as part of their linear cable network or as an OTT offering (although this article at DSL Reports specifically mentions an OTT product). It appears likely that what Viacom is considering is allowing operators to sell their package to its broadband customers who are "cord cutters", "cord shavers", or "cord nevers".
Other programmers have chosen to bypass the normal cable distribution platform by offering direct-to-consumer streaming services. HBO Now, CBS All Access, and others have had limited success but the trend bares watching.
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