2017 is shaping up to be the year that anyone who hates their cable provider can finally ditch the set-top box. Verizon is just the latest company said to be offering a pay-TV service, after the likes of AT&T and YouTube have already jumped into the world of streaming TV.
According to Bloomberg, Verizon has been working with content owners to secure licenses for a streaming pay-TV service, which will launch to customers nationwide. Much like AT&T’s DirecTV Now offering, you won’t have to be a Verizon customer to sign up for its streaming TV service, although you might get a discount if you have other Verizon services.
There’s no details yet on pricing, although if Verizon wants to compete with Sling, DirecTV Now and YouTube, it will need to be aimed around the $30-per-month level for a basic package. That’s well under what traditional TV packages have cost, and once you include the price of a set-top box rental, it’s less than the “skinny” cable packages offered by Verizon.
Regardless of whether Verizon’s offering is any good, the prospect of numerous nationwide TV bundles being available to customers is fantastic news for fans of competition. The reason cable TV has been so expensive in the past is because there’s typically very little competition available in any particular reason. If you want to watch college football, you’ve basically got to pay your local cable company or be good at illegal streaming.
With the prospect of Verizon, AT&T, YouTube and maybe even Comcast all competing for your streaming TV $$$, we could finally have some real competition in the pay-TV market.