News of a possible launch was spurred by Philippe Dauman, chief executive of Viacom, speaking at an industry media conference on Monday. He said this could happen as soon as next year (only a few weeks away). Who? What? Dauman didn’t say.
Reports last year said Viacom had inked one of these deals for its group of cable networks with a new broadband service to be started by Sony. Others are also in the hunt -- including Intel, Apple, and possibly Google.
Apple has been plodding along to boost its Apple TV device, as well as trying to start its own web-based pay TV service.
Other reports suggest Intel is already fed up with the process, which has been slow moving. Intel is considering selling OnCue, the reported name of its web-based subscription TV service nased on its own set-top box design, possibly to Verizon.
Will any of these efforts have the number of networks -- some 150 or more – to which traditional cable, satellite and telco TV subscribers have become accustomed? Many analysts aren’t sure.
Even then getting familiar network scale for consumers is only one issue. Actually, the issue can be the reverse of scale -- in theory.
Some of these new services don’t seem to want all of a big cable network group’s channels -- be it Viacom, Disney-ABC, NBCUniversal, Fox or Discovery, to name a few -- that traditional cable, satellite and telco distributors have been saddled with for years.
Consumers don’t regularly watch 150 or 180 channels, but more like eight to 10 at most.
New broadband services would do well by trying to tempt potential customers with marketing plans that perhaps say, “Come buy TV programming and channels from a new age TV provider: You Choose The Networks.”
Would cable network groups go along? In the short term, new broadband providers could assuage them by maintaining that selling piecemeal gives consumers real alternatives. In effect, new services could complement what traditional cable, satellite and telco providers offer under their all-you-can-eat channel plans.
TV consumers could be on a new diet really soon.