The New Entertainment Bundlers

One of the things that many of us dislike about our cable company is the bundle. We are required to subscribe to a host of channels when we only want a few. The promise of going over the top is that we can now choose the services we want without the ones we don’t.

But we are now witnessing the re-emergence of the entertainment bundle in the over the top world.

The leader in the new bundle movement is Amazon which is putting entertainment options into its Prime service. Estimates for Prime membership go as high as 60mm households. We are one of them and have been for as long as Prime has existed.

The other bundler is YouTube. Their newish Red subscription service offers ad-free youtube, “original shows”, and premium music.

I expect Prime and Red to expand over time to include additional services (games, sports, etc). They are the new entertainment bundlers. I also expect others to enter this business. The most obvious candidates are the mobile carriers who already have a regular billing relationship with us.

The good news is that the new bundlers do not have a monopoly in their ability to offer entertainment to us. They have to compete with each other in an open market. So I expect that the bundles that emerge will be attractively priced and will be differentiated by price and content options.

Bundling has cost advantages like sales and marketing that can be offset across multiple services. And it is easier to subscribe to one service than ten. But over the top promises user choice over our entertainment options. With the new bundlers, we may be getting the best of both worlds.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Jess Bachman

    Prime video feels like every other premium video service. A few flag ship movies or shows, and a slew of random old movies. “Now I can finally stream a Weekend At Bernies marathon!”.We just have internet with Verizon but they threw in Showtime and HBO for free. We use those apps on Amazon FireTV and with that and Netflix, we have everything we want.I think the opportunity is not in Amazon Prime adding entertainment…but in some meta service that can aggregate all the disparent options I have now. HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, YouTube Red, etc.Searching in each channel/app is a real pain in the ass.

    1. falicon

      some of the roku devices I have let me search across all these apps…results list which services have the content and if it’s free or how much it costs in that app…I love it and use it all the time.Now if I could just get a browse and recommendations across all my installed roku apps I would have it all 🙂

  2. jason wright

    “…the mobile carriers who already have a regular billing relationship with us.”not with me. many of “us” don’t do carrier contracts. vampires.

    1. Jess Bachman

      Amen. Shout out to Ting. I run 3 phones off them and pay $58/month for everything. I would never consider a contract again.

  3. jason wright

    “over the top” – is this an Americanism? i don’t get it.

    1. LE

      I don’t get it either in this context. Maybe someone can explain.

      1. William Mougayar

        OTT = On the Internet, or over IP to be pedantic.

    2. William Mougayar

      When you send a text message on WhatsApp, that’s OTT too. Same for Skype.

      1. jason wright

        Thanks. Now I get it.Homestead released. Gathering momentum.

    3. Lawrence Brass

      Broadcasting jargon.. not very descriptive though, happens the same in software.

  4. pointsnfigures

    Wonder about sports. I really don’t care for much of ESPNs programming anymore, but I do like to watch games. As a Chicago fan, clear I’d probably subscribe to Bulls, Hawks, Bulls, but what if I want to watch LeBron, Steph Curry or KD and they have a separate subscription. Could see how it could be done in a one off basis, but that could get really expensive. I am ready for the services to be unbundled and go show by show. I only subscribe to HBO for a couple of shows-most of the movies on the service are retreads. I’d rather just pay for Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley.

    1. fredwilson

      NBA League Pass is amazing. i use it everywhere and watch almost all my NBA on it other than the games which are blacked out because they are on broadcast TV. the whole blackout thing is a remnant of a different world and should be gone soon (i hope)

      1. Sean McDermott

        The viewing experience and the associated ball by ball commentary on league pass is horrible. Pales in comparison to ESPN and TNT.I wonder why there isn’t an itunes for TV yet. Instead of thinking about sending rockets to space, Elon musk and peers should focus on this earthly problems

        1. Matt Zagaja

          iTunes already sells current season TV shows, sometimes even things that aren’t available streaming.

          1. Sean McDermott

            I doubt if there are doing games.As Fred pointed out, I would surely be interested watching what I want rather than navigating the bundled channels to force-watch what I never expect to

    2. JaredMermey

      I’d imagine when it gets inexpensive enough to produce a TV show on your own then some company could come along and create distribution show by show (or even episode by episode). Sort of the economic beauty of all of these online video creators and helps them jump from YT to FB to others.

  5. Rob Underwood

    Not sure if you remember, but we first met over email when I was still at Deloitte – I was moderating a Digital Hollywood panel in 2011 with telecom and media execs and I asked you for some suggested questions re both SOPA and OTT. http://prime.digitalhollywo…The move away from the bundle to a la carte and OTT has taken longer than I had thought it would, but I welcome it. I think a big inhibitor has been the completely bungled roll out of services like FIOS in NYC — i.e., the truly ultra high speed internet needed to make OTT practical.Ironically after a 3 year battle with Verizon to connect the FIOS drop next to our brownstone into our home, they are coming to install it tomorrow. The catch to finally upgrade our 1 Mbps DSL (on good days) to 150 Mbps FIOS? I have to buy the TV bundle.

    1. fredwilson

      we are finally getting FIOS on W 12th street. i was promised it by some high up execs at Verizon before we broke ground on that building in March 2007. ten years from promise to go live is not bad in Verizon land i guess

      1. Rob Underwood

        We ended up needing to get local elected officials to help advocate for us, including our local council person, who seems to be having his own challenges getting FIOS at his house –>

        1. Lawrence Brass

          Let a company build a monopoly, and that is what you get.Are there alternatives to Verizon to get domiciliary fiber optic connectivity in Manhattan?

      2. JamesHRH

        Fred, you need to talk about the GOP race, in the context of a disruptor and an established incumbent.Check our Mike Huckabee on Fox, attempting to get the incumbent to hear the bad news:…Here is the money quote on disruption with a great theme – Customers are not stupid!:”Don’t pretend that somehow all these voters who have voted for [Trump] are stupid. They’re not stupid. They are angry at the very establishment who is going nuts because Donald Trump is doing so well. They don’t get it. They are the problem,” said the former presidential candidate.

        1. Richard

          I don’t have a horse in the race but If we were talking VC and Donald trump were a startup, people would understand that he is disrupting in the truest sense.

          1. JamesHRH

            Obviously, I only have a tangential / existential horse in the race (things go Boom down there, not so good for us up here,), but I agree exactly.The Mussolini / Ghandi quote double header from Trump lately was hilariously reflective of who he is…….Fascinating.

      3. Andrew Yao

        Careful. My wife still hasn’t forgiven me for changing over from Time Warner to FIOS because she lost NY1 and loved Pat Kiernan/In the papers

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Do you strongly recommend FIOS?

      1. Rob Underwood

        Per my comment above, I don’t have it yet. Doesn’t sound like our host has it either. It’s a complete corporate clusterf**k to get it installed.

        1. panterosa,

          We are still waiting too, near Union Square, though a block over they have it. Our current service blows.

      2. LE

        I do. I have it at the house for the past 5 years or so.

      3. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Gosh, I’ve had FIOS for 7 years. Guess I didn’t know how good I have it!

    3. Ben Longstaff

      I think the main thing to slow the OTT services is that even though content producers “own” their content they don’t really, Comcast and Time Warner have such large shares of the market that the 5 year deals they make with content providers allow them to dictate terms on how the owners can use “their” content which in turn allows the networks to guarantee that they will be profitable for the next 5 years.HBO being the notable exception because they have such widely appealing killer content that if the cable companies dropped them from their bundles the users would riot.

  6. Richard

    snap chat will be a major content provider within 4 years.

  7. Chris Phenner

    I’m liking the ‘Boutique Bundlers’ who are carving out curatorial niches within content categories that have gotten so large as to be unwieldy.Tribeca Short List (for thoughtful movies), Qello (for live music shows), Jukely (for live concert tickets as a bundle) are a few that come to mind — like a wine store that only carries 30 SKUs at any given time (but knows all of them really well).DoStuff is doing this to ‘listings’ (Foursquare & Yelp), surfacing only what’s good, as picked by local folks who use judgment. While perhaps not ‘Venture Scale’ businesses, they require only small teams and likely five figures of subscribers to become profitable.

    1. fredwilson


    2. Vasudev Ram

      > likely five figures of subscribers to become profitableHow is opening and running a small business, generally, in the US these days? Easier, same or getting harder than say 5, 10, 20, 30 years ago? Some of us in India and other countries grew up often hearing stories of people (sometimes relatives) who went to the US with just 5 / 25 / 50 dollars in their pocket, worked as waiters, worked two jobs, whatever, hustled, started their own businesses, and eventually made it big and realized the American Dream in their own lives.I’ve sometimes wondered how many of those storie were apocryphal or real. I’m sure many were real.And the common refrain was always that they could not have done it easily or at all, in their home countries (due to corruption, bureacracy, overly regulated markets, conservative customer base [1], licence raj, etc.)[1 ] That is changing now finally with both young and old here, some .Hence the question.

  8. LE

    Their newish Red subscription service offers ad-free youtube, “original shows”, and premium music.I had heard about that and knew that they were going to have it but didn’t know you could actually sign up. The reason is I haven’t seen any marketing for it on youtube or anywhere else. At least nothing that I have noticed. I am wondering if this is even in full release now. If not why the holdback on marketing? Seems like they would show ads on youtube at the very least for that service and promote it as an option.

  9. William Mougayar

    YouTube Red is available only in the US. Good thing we have Hola.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      VPN?Although I’m finding that I can’t get by with as much on VPN — for instance Netflix detects it.Now that Downton Abbey in the UK is done, will get rid of VPN when I finish Heartland on CBC. Yes, I watch it. #horselover #guiltypleasures

      1. William Mougayar

        Heartland is great. Hola is not a true VPN. It changes the location of the IP address. There is a nuance that I don’t fully understand, but it works.

    2. jason wright

      We have the BBC. Imagine that by simply owning a phone you are required to pay one particular mobile content provider an annual subscription fee regardless of whether you consume its content or not.

  10. Mike

    It is not logical that WalMart would make you buy a 6 pack of Pepsi and a dozen apples before you could buy anything from the meat department (must buy basic before buying HBO). When A-Rod signed with the Yankees, a friend of mine figured $.34 of his cable bill each month was going just to pay A-Rod’s salary through the cable operator’s payment to YES and proportionally to the ESPN when the Yankees appeared on Sunday night baseball. If the bundle is broken, it will be interesting to see what happens to sports rights (and the 50-55% that players receive) if ESPN and Yes and MSG are only available a la carte at significantly higher rates. Heavy sports users will long for the days of socialistic pricing.

  11. Brad Lindenberg

    I think YouTube is super interesting. I view it as a cable network with hundreds of millions of channels and the content people are producing is amazing. Do you subscribe to Casey Neistat? He does an amazing daily VLOG… His is disciplined like you are in that he posts EVERY day, except he has to edit the videos and that takes 3-7 hours each day… Imagine that! = awesome.

  12. markslater

    I despise the cable providers. I have to buy a “home phone number” to get my package….how absolutely absurd.If it were not for sports, i’m absolutely off them for ever…..

    1. LE

      I don’t get the hate you (or others) have. I get the dislike of course. They are a business and they operate to make a profit. They are allowed to make a profit.I had to get TV service at the office (And I don’t have a TV at the office) with Comcast because of some kind of “triple play” package. I don’t care about that. What I care about is that the service is always up (Internet) and working. [1] And I want them to be profitable so they can provide good service. In order to do that they need to make money. That is my philosophy generally. Ever deal with a shithole business that doesn’t make a profit? That is a real problem in terms of the service or the product. That is the type of thing you have to worry and get angry about.Other things I care about? Big internet companies that provide things at no charge that have no accountability or customer service. Try to get google to fix a problem with search results.[1] And yes the customer service does suck with Comcast but honestly the more important thing is that the internet is up and working. Same with FIOS at home. I really don’t care at all that they are charging me for things I don’t use. There are lots of shows on even channels you watch which “you don’t use”.

      1. PhilipSugar

        There is one thing that I really dislike. I have found constant billing errors. Now every time they tell me it was a mistake, but the problem with this is the “mistake” has never been in my favor.I have always proposed that if you found a billing “error” the company should have to double it back and then provide that amount to the government for them to oversee the company.

        1. LE

          The idea you have is good. The problem is it’s another layer of complexity on top of to much regulation checking and complexity clusterfuck. I often have ideas that are along the same lines. I have to restrain myself from thinking to much about anything that requires more government this or that.At the office we get checked for fire extinguishers. The guy comes around to tag the extinguisher every year. Even though it shows all green and good he says it will cost more for him to test it so he can tag it then for me to buy a new one which is what I end up doing. Meanwhile there are other larger risks they completely overlook. Where I am they local fire marshall charges $100 to do the inspection 1 time per year (it’s based on sf of office). All he does is walk in and tell you to move some boxes and so on.

          1. PhilipSugar

            I hear you. It is why people would rather take no regulation over some reasonable regulation, its because you realize as soon as the government gets its hooks into its over.

  13. Dorian Benkoil

    Fred, curios why you didn’t mention Netflix?

    1. fredwilson

      because they haven’t started bundling. when they do (if?), i will include them

      1. markbarrington

        Netflix feels just like a cable bundle in the sense that if I don’t have kids I still need to pay for the kids content, don’t want movies still have to pay for the movies etc.But the much lower price point takes away the consumer pain.

      2. Dorian Benkoil

        Ah, so if/when they add ISP service, or games, or devices, or e-commerce or music or some service other than the “bundle” of various types of TV/Movie programming they now have. (We could say they used to “bundle” DVDs and streaming, I suppose.)

      3. ErikSchwartz

        What is a flat rate all you can eat subscription if not a bundle?The dynamics are exactly like a traditional cable bundle. They have a few “must haves”, those pay the bills and fund niche things, they round out the offering with dreck.

  14. Amar

    We are starting to see cross service/content provider search getting effective. It is only a matter of time before we start seeing recommendation engines (hello Roku are you working on this?) that cuts across all the services not just one.

  15. MC210

    I’m curious if people foresee a central marketplace in the future where people simply pick and choose their channels? Also curious if people would even be able to have as much control as picking when to turn “on” and “off” a channel…I know there are times when soccer (futbol) matches are broadcast on channels I don’t get, where I’d be willing to pay a one-time fee to access (a reasonable fee, of course).

  16. Donna Brewington White

    Even beyond entertainment, other bundling such as TV with internet and phone can result in sub-par services because of the “bundle.” We had U-verse phone and internet — have resisted the incessant invitations to add TV. But recently, due to a huge customer service faux pas we are leaving U-verse. Took over a month and 5+ hours on the phone to get the voice service changed to landline (with no phone service in the meantime). They obviously don’t want that type of transfer to happen.I don’t want to fall into the trap of accepting sub-par services because they are part of a bundle with other higher quality services. But breaking from the pack can take a lot of effort (and I think this is partly intentional).Which is why I’m such a huge Amazon fan. Excellence all around has been my experience. Still, when possible, I try to give the smaller competitors a chance.

    1. Joe Cardillo

      That brings up an interesting point that came up w/FCC net neutrality classification: avoiding monopolies (and thus sub-par bundling) becomes difficult when the service / delivery and content layers are owned by the same co’s. Sometimes it reminds me of the “package up a bunch of B or C rated derivatives and call it AAA” insanity we saw in mortgage bundles in ’00 – ’05.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        “package up a bunch of B or C rated derivatives and call it AAA”Excellent example of bundling gone wrong — and lessons to be learned beyond mortgage bundles/derivatives.

  17. JaredMermey

    My favorite example of bundling is getting a landline only because the bundle is cheaper than the alternative in Year One with it.Though no phone rings since there is nothing at the end of the line, I sometimes see the caller ID pop up on the corner of the TV. I always wonder who is calling?

  18. Shaun Dakin

    killed cable 5 years ago. We do OTA local tv (for local news) = free.We get most of our entertainment via these:NetflixHuluAmazonYouTubeAll using:- Roku- Chromecast

    1. ErikSchwartz

      The OTA solution will stop working in O&O markets in the near future. Look at what is going on in Boston with WHDH and NBCU. Soon the only NBC OTA in the Boston DMA will be off a weak stick in Manchester NH. If they get away with it there, they will do it everywhere.

  19. markbarrington

    Cable companies don’t have monopolies in TV. Almost everybody has three or four choices for TV provider with satellite and telco options. The cable bundle is uniform because the content providers have control over how their must have content is distributed.The new behomoth subscription VOD providers, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu(?) already have such huge scale advantages that it is hard to see how any new entrant could disrupt them. And they are using exclusive content, their own and licensed, as a weapon. If you cut the cord you need them all.This is all to say that there may be less bundle choices than you might anticipate in the future. Creators of must have content will control distribution.

  20. Michael Elling

    In the past few weeks the FCC has delivered a 1-2 punch to the LinearTV model that will speed things (unbundling and rebundling) up leading to more choice and lower costs.First, opening up the set-top box (edge) will be extremely generative for new entrants who want to combine services and content and products was only introduced at the end of last summer. Moving something like this in 6 months is unheard of. The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM; 66 pages) is here if you want to peruse: second punch was delivered immediately afterwards, namely a notice of inquiry (NOI) about programming diversity (at the core): Look for this to move quickly as well. By the end of 2016 the video world will be looking very different because the edge and core are simultaneously being opened.This happened to voice in the 1980s which gave rise to the internet in the 1990s.This Chairman has proved to be one of the most adroit, savvy, well-informed and pro-competitive FCC leaders in a very very long time. Maybe the best, as many prior FCC Chiefs were forced to respond to market and judicial forces. This Chairman has taken the monopoly bull by the horns and is bringing it down; and surprising everyone in the process.

    1. markbarrington

      I’m always skeptical of the idea that government regulation will speed up innovation.Cablecard was the previous attempt by the FCC to solve this problem. That took 5-10 years to implement. What the FCC is proposing is at least as complex as CableCard.What Fred is describing is an explosion of consumer options for video driven by permissionless innovation. I would bet that the FCC’s attempt at regulation can’t keep up with the marketplace.

      1. Michael Elling

        Huh? Like 1938 Part 15 (the basis for Wifi and what Steve Jobs used to resurrect equal access in 2007). Or dial-1 equal access. Or Computers 2/3. Or number portability (line-side) or 800 portability (trunk side). Or hybrid digital/analog cellphones. Or Carterfone. The list goes on.Equal access and mandated interconnection have always resulted in generative markets with more choice and lower costs. Please tell me of one instance where it hasn’t. My point was that STB alone (edge) isn’t sufficient and needs program diversity (core) to ensure the current LinearTV model is cracked wide-open.

        1. ErikSchwartz

          14-261 is the key.Control of the transmission path is a 20th century, pre-internet concept.Real control of the transmission path is about control of the decryption key for the video, not who owns what physical wires or fiber.

          1. Michael Elling

            Do not disagree at all.But legacy linkages need to be broken to make sure the transmission path can’t be used as an impediment.That said, we need to revisit the notion of north-south settlements (price signals acting as linkages which provide incentives and disincentives).I know this group does not like to hear it, but it’s the only way for sustainable inter-network(actor) ecosystem to develop. Otherwise digital divide will persist and widen and overall growth retarded.

        2. markbarrington

          If there was an interconnect point that could be mandated then I would agree that competition would result. But there isn’t. Every single pay tv operator has a different network and standards. So, an interconnect point has to be invented, standardized and deployed. That will move at the speed of government and a group of fighting, unwilling participants. I predict 10 years.Can you imagine what the video landscape will look like in 10 years? I can’t and I wouldn’t want to try and regulate it by mandated standardization now.This statue has been on the books for 20 years. If it was easy to implement it would be implemented. It isn’t any easier now than it was in 1998.

          1. Michael Elling

            But that wasn’t your point. Now you are obfuscating with temporal concerns/issues, which are valid, but not that meaningful as markets find ways around and everyone knows we’re going to cloud.

          2. markbarrington

            Speed was my point. But before it was my point it was your point; “that will speed things (unbundling and rebundling) up” / “By the end of 2016 the video world will be looking very different”.

    2. ErikSchwartz

      They did not vote to open up the STB. They narrowly voted to open a NPRM to look into it. This is a long, long way from a done deal.Rosenworcel won’t vote for this (or 14-261, or 15-216, or anything controversial) until the senate votes on her reconfirmation. That vote remains unscheduled even though she passed out of the commerce committee last October.All that said the STB NPRM is pretty much moot without passing the TV Neutrality NPRM (14-261). Until OVDs have equal access to programming the box is largely meaningless.If Hillary wins Rosenworcel seems to have the inside track to replace Wheeler at the end of the year. If the GOP wins you’ll end up with another FCC commissioner like Pai or O’Rielly who are using regulatory firewalls to protect the legacy MVPD industry from disruptive innovators.

      1. Michael Elling

        Good point. Here’s the process.…My major point was the fact that the 2 (edge and core) are coming together which no one expected last August.I also stand by my other points.

  21. jason wright

    Only 2% of UK homes have fiber.

  22. Steve Lincoln

    Fred – Any thoughts on whether Yahoo has a role to play in this field?

    1. Drew Meyers

      It seems yahoo attempts to play in every field. But ends up playing in none.

  23. Ciaran

    If I currently pay $50 for a cable package (outside of the US – in Australia) and can watch most of my favourite TV shows on it, how exactly do I benefit if, instead, I have to pay $10 each to 5 different services, each with a couple of my favourite shows?

  24. cavepainting

    Unbundling and Re-bundling are two distinct but related trends.Unbundling makes content unbound and independent with the potential to recapture economic value for the content owners. A direct-to-consumer OTT model with subscription pricing is starting to get traction in select niches. Two good examples are the Bill O Reilly show on Fox (why it continues to crush ratings confounds me,but that is an altogether different issue) and CBS All Access. businesses that want to go direct-to-consumer to complement, or in extreme cases, replace their relationships with traditional bundlers (Satellite, Cable) and Re-bundlers (Amazon, Netflix, Hulu etc.) need to become highly savvy digital companies with deep investments in mobile, video streaming and analytics. Some of them simply do not have the competence to pull this off.On the other hand, modern re-bundlers power two sided marketplaces connecting content with consumers and act as intelligent concierges who use data science to direct and influence our entertainment consumption.My guess is that we are going to see rapid evolution on both fronts. More tech companies offering infrastructure, identity and digital entertainment SaaS services to power the unbundling business model. And more re-bundlers using data to create a richer customer experience while aggregating newer forms of content. ( Tune-In, Sling TV etc.)

  25. Chimpwithcans

    In Africa, soccer is king when it comes to satellite/Cable TV bouquets. Specifically the rights to the English Premier League which has a monstrous following across the continent. If you can wrap up these rights, you can sell cable tv to the masses for ever increasing amounts (see link:….Recently, Netflix has arrived and caused a stir – but broadband penetration is so low, and the sports channels are so good (For example, if you wanted to watch the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquaio fight in 2015, viewers in the US were charged $100 to see it on their TVs. Here it was included in the premium package, no extra cost) that it will take quite a while to make any dent on the incumbent – who has also launched online streaming options for movies n tv shows. Fascinating space in Africa at the moment 🙂

  26. BillMcNeely

    Netflix is now getting bundled with some cable operators

  27. christmasgorilla

    “I said– really just to end the conversation– I said, well, gentlemen, there’s only two ways I know of to make money– bundling, and unbundling.” – Jim BarksdaleSome deep cuts from a time long ago… above is an article from 2006 with some amazingly prescient quotes from the COO of HBO at the time about how the subscription model (and bundling) allowed them to produce their content (which is expensive to produce). Remember, these comments were made at a time when everyone was pushing for a la carte a la iTunes and streaming hadn’t become the thing that it’s become.Next deep cut is an academic paper on Bundling Information Goods: http://pubsonline.informs.o…Part of the abstract:”We study the strategy of bundling a large number of information goods, such as those increasingly available on the Internet, and selling them for a fixed price. We analyze the optimal bundling strategies for a multiproduct monopolist, and we find that bundling very large numbers of unrelated information goods can be surprisingly profitable. The reason is that the law of large numbers makes it much easier to predict consumers’ valuations for a bundle of goods than their valuations for the individual goods when sold separately. As a result, this “predictive value of bundling” makes it possible to achieve greater sales, greater economic efficiency, and greater profits per good from a bundle of information goods than can be attained when the same goods are sold separately. Our main results do not extend to most physical goods, as the marginal costs of production for goods not used by the buyer typically negate any benefits from the predictive value of large-scale bundling.”

  28. Mariah Lichtenstern

    Looks like there is much more to come on this…particularly with AT&T’s acquisition of Directv approved (and the plan to eliminate set-top boxes & stream massive amounts of content via internet).”AT&T said on Tuesday that it plans to make DirecTV available over the Internet in the fourth quarter of this year, saying the new offerings “will not require annual contracts, satellite dishes, or set-top boxes.'”…

  29. Mark Mc Laughlin

    Fred. I think the difference in monthly charges between established bundlers and new entry bundlers has big implications for the price of content. In Ireland say Apple music is €10 a month, Sky (including internet) is €80-€100 a month and Netflix is €8 a month. With content availably legally on You Tube and illegally streams for sport, tv shows, movies etc… (combined with Chromecast / Apple TV) but I find that the price of content is increasingly de-linked to the time spent watching it. There are also very silly business practices whereby Sky won’t let you watch using Chrome so you can’t Chromecast even with a subscription. It seems like the new entrants have more scope to move their pricing upwards (Netflix Sports) than established providers can bring their prices down but the value of sports franchises with TV money such a big part of their revenue mix is certainly one to watch.

  30. LE

    but my quality of life is so much better without cable TV as an optionWhy? Were you spending a great deal of time watching TV?

  31. Donna Brewington White

    Super Bowel? Is that a commentary on the restaurant or the game?(although guessing its an auto-correct fail)We made a conscious choice to discontinue television in the house about 15 years ago — since in our area we don’t even get local stations without cable — and I believe it has made a difference. Although with all the online entertainment options I’m not sure the “no-TV” policy is meaningful any longer. A lot of video gets watched in our house. But there is not so much “I’m bored so let’s see whats on TV.” It’s somewhat more meaningful viewing.

  32. jason wright

    “Bowel” – that bad was it?

  33. LE

    Parents who have a TV problem in their house should blame themselves not the children. I don’t have a problem with my stepkids because I keep on top of them and have laid down the law. And I enforce the law. Same with them doing what I consider “stupid” things on the Internet. Same with playing to many video games. I roll over them each and every time and when they know you mean business they will listen (at least to me). The other day the stepson was home sick for 2 days. On the second day I told him he could use the computer if he used it to learn something. Otherwise he couldn’t use it. The bottom line is I will wear them down each and everytime and don’t take a “can’t do anything about it so I give up” attitude. It’s about setting boundaries. That said if the mold isn’t cast right (I started when they were 4 and 6) it’s a bit more difficult.

  34. pointsnfigures

    You can’t hate the hapless NY Knicks. I didn’t like Stark and Mason. But, Walt Frazier was one of my favorite players when I was a kid. Still love the way he played (and Pistol Pete, Jerry West, and Dr. J)

  35. LE

    If you are ever wanted to I’d be interested in reading your take (blog post?) on how this business is as far as how you spend your time vs. the tech one that you were in before. Challenges, problems etc. Maybe one weekend instead of recording you could relax writing that.

  36. Donna Brewington White

    Recording! yesssss

  37. jason wright

    Atheist 🙂

  38. markbarrington

    Yes. Live streaming is still up for grabs. Could be a new aggregator, like Sling, or could be content owners going direct to consumer, like NBA, MLB do already.

  39. ErikSchwartz

    The economics/tech in live video is still really tough. Bob Bowman from MLBAM”Is that a business model or is that a stunt? I don’t know.”…

  40. ErikSchwartz

    Sunday Ticket barely manages to keep high latency streams up and they have no where near millions of concurrent viewers on a stream.

  41. PhilipSugar

    Nevada did not ban it they said they would do the same as they do for all gambling license it which is why they have no income tax.They don’t differentiate from games of chance like slots and games of skill like Poker.If you want to define a place where government doesn’t get in the way but sets a level field Nevada would be a model.Look at the creative destruction that has happened on the Las Vegas strip in the last two decades.

  42. PhilipSugar

    Well I guess there are several billions of dollars a month gambled at places with licenses that might just disagree.

  43. PhilipSugar

    Fend off fantasy??? Do Las Vegas Casinos make any money at sports betting??I’ll give you the answer: No.Between the cost of the real estate and the amount they have to pay for the video (you realize that if you are a bar you pay by capacity, not our rates correct??) The mandate is to break even. They have to compete with tons of offshore books as well.Why would they offer it you ask??? No different than offering lottery tickets at a bodega. You need them to bring people in, and in this case keep them from leaving.This I assure you having worked with Las Vegas for more than two decades I know.

  44. PhilipSugar

    They like to make money, not lose it.Also the owners of some of those sites are the leagues themselves who don’t like Vegas.

  45. PhilipSugar

    They think they make money off of them. They find gambling dirty (as opposed to domestic violence). Notice there has never been a major league pro team in Vegas.

  46. PhilipSugar

    I agree the economics are really tough on both sides: Distribution as Bob Bowman points out and rights fees: Right now they are distributed, but what would happen if you lost 75% of your base. You would have to increase price, but that would erode your base further.

  47. jason wright

    the Knicks – unbundled.

  48. jason wright

    …of choice? Not iBlog.