James Dolan, president/chief executive officer of Cablevision Systems Corp., believes OTT services are merely “alternatives” to the current big, all-you-can-eat cable TV packages, as quoted in a recent Hollywood Reporterinterview. Dolan says: “You're going to see a slide to over-the-top, and it's being driven by price and by availability and by selection. At Cablevision, our mantra is to do what we call ‘ride the wave.’"
Dolan doesn’t believe that offering unique deals for individual TV networks or groups of networks is the way to go. “We want to be your company. We don't want to tell you what to watch."
All that would be keeping with the idea that it won’t just be individual TV media companies -- like CBS, Sony, or others -- offering special OTT packages, but that traditional pay TV companies, like cable operators, might join the hunt.
“What's interesting about OTT services is, anyone could do one,” says Dolan. Dish Network, for example, has already started Sling TV.
Sounds like Cablevision and others may possibly begin allowing customers to pick and choose networks on a “a la carte” basis. But they know the math will work out on their favor. Want to get just HBO, about 10 to 15 cable channels, a couple of TV stations, and a sports network or two? Maybe all that comes to $60 a month, down from say, the $75 a month you might already be paying.
Savings? Sure. But then say a big TV show on a network you don’t have gets a lot of attention-- and all your friends are watching. Social media will tell you what you’re missing. So perhaps you need to buy another package of TV networks, for $10 more a month. Now you are at $70.
This will be the complex financial calculations consumers will need to make. And it seems pay TV providers like Cablevision may already have worked out those formulas.