Viacom Considers Low-Price Digital Entertainment Package

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.

2 comments about "Viacom Considers Low-Price Digital Entertainment Package ".
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  1. James Smith from J. R. Smith Group, May 24, 2017 at 2:56 a.m.

    If current trends are indicative of what consumers want beyond lower package prices, Viacom might seriously consider adding at least one news channel...would partnering w/CBS be a source? Particularly if they seek tapping the lucrative 50+ segment.  

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 24, 2017 at 8:26 a.m.

    James, what I am seeing in this rush to create "skinny" bundles is an attempt by the broadcast TV networks  not onlyto  gain subscriber incomes via digital but also to reduce the strength of their competition, thereby improving their overall ratings and ad incomes. To do this they---ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox as well as their stations and owned cable channels will be represented on all of the skinny bundles, but not Turner, Discovery,Viacom, etc. While it would greatly help Viacom to partner with CBS to provide news, CBS might be reluctant to cooperate, leaving Viacom out in the cold and diminishing the impact of its venture. Just my opinion, of course.

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