Bob Bakish, president/CEO of Viacom, says the company is in advanced talks with pay TV operators to offer a low-priced entertainment-oriented digital TV package of networks.
The effort would have no news or sports programming and would cost between $10 and $20 a month -- far lower than most of the current packages on the market, which are priced at $35 to $45 a month.
Bakish was speaking at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference on Monday.
The major savings comes with eliminating expensive big sports channels. One estimate is that sports channels on traditional pay TV providers -- ESPN, Fox Sports, CBS Sports and TNT/TBS sports programming -- can amount to about $13 a month for a traditional pay TV subscriber. Overall traditional pay TV monthly packages can cost anywhere from $90 to $110 a month.
Recently, Bakish announced that Viacom's wide-ranging number of TV networks will be focused around six brands: MTV, Comedy Central, BET, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., and Paramount.
Packaging just entertainment networks would offer an alternative for some TV network groups with mid-size TV viewing networks. They are having trouble in inking deals with larger digital TV providers, according to analysts.
Per Pivotal Research Group, Viacom networks has an industry-leading 15.4% share of all 18-49 C3 ratings, as of December 2016.
Viacom also continue to draw some of the highest advertising loads per programming hour -- at 14.8 minutes/hour.