With the launch of HBO’s standalone streaming service hitting sometime next year, you may think that the traditional cable bundle is starting to come, well, unbundled. Cable and TV executives deny this is the case since the pay TV bundle has been a hugely lucrative business model for them and they want to keep the bundle around for many more years to come. BuzzFeed has a nice roundup about what TV bigwigs are saying about the future of bundles and, wouldn’t you know it, they all think people still love paying big sums of money for hundreds of channels they never watch.
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“Consumers in most markets can get a multi-channel subscription with more than 150 channels and a wide array of diverse and quality programming for around $65 a month, a much greater value than a do-it-yourself portfolio of standalone options,” says Disney CEO Bob Iger. “It’s still clearly the dominant entertainment or television package in the home, and we think that’s going to continue for the foreseeable future.”
“People are still watching more TV than they ever have and the curation of the bundle is very effective,” says Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav. “The unbundling, I just don’t see it happening.”
“We believe the traditional bundle offers great value to consumers and will be the primary consumer package for years to come,” says Fox president Chase Carey. “I think if you started to unbundle things, you may well find the consumers wish for the days of the bundle, that the real, the best value proposition for them is the ability to buy a breadth and choice of programming that includes sports.”
Of course, there have been clear indications that many young people would rather not shell out large sums of money every month for access to content they don’t care about and are more likely to get their TV fix through online streaming options like Netflix and Hulu. In fact, once HBO, Showtime and other premium cable stations start offering their channels as standalone streaming options, we imagine that cord cutting will only accelerate rather than decline.
That said, if these execs want to be like music industry execs who insisted for years that music fans should buy full CDs instead of only picking the songs they liked off different albums, they can be our guest.