Satellite TV Wake Is Postponed - Pay TV Isn't Dying Fast, Either

Media business headlines keep repeating themselves: Satellite TV will soon die. A better question is: What about the rest of the traditional pay TV world? That has a bit more staying power.

Two of the major satellite pay TV businesses -- DirecTV and Dish Network -- continue to seek transitions. Both have witnessed major declines in subscribers over recent years.

DirecTV is now looking to be in the “streaming” business, under a new service, DirecTV Stream. At the same time, DirecTV's main competitor Dish Network is angling primarily to be in the wireless business, hoping to be an alternative to AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile.

These companies aren’t abandoning their customers yet. No doubt they are hoping their respective satellite TV business consumers will come along for the journey.

Many talk about the demise of all kinds of distribution in the traditional pay TV business -- cable, satellite, telco and virtual.
Some will go more quickly than others.



Cable TV is still here in the near-term. Major players -- Comcast Corp, Charter Communications, Cox Communications, Altice USA -- also are deep into broadband business.

Although both DirecTV and Dish moves make sense, they are still playing catch up. Dish’s made a July 2019 agreement to buy up the former Sprint’s nationwide spectrum -- and it still has federal deadlines to hit. While it has made a deal for an agreement for services with AT&T, it needs progress.

Cable TV? Revenues are still big and plodding along for Comcast, Charter, Cox, Altice USA. All are generally profitable, even as they are losing subscribers.

How? Shrinking profit margins and willing TV networks groups when it comes to making adjustments to cable-TV centric companies other digital platform options in terms of subscribers fees.

For example, Charter’s CEO Tom Rutledge talks about a recent carriage deal with ViacomCBS, calling it a “modern agreement” -- one that includes a streaming distribution part to carry networks such as Paramount+, Pluto TV and others.

Transition is slow. But that’s good. Consumers hate to be rushed. Even then, can the brands with names like ‘DirecTV’ and ‘Dish’ compete in a world of Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Apple?

Which will survive/succumb once their distribution points are eliminated? Video brick-and-mortar stores? Not so blockbuster these days.

1 comment about "Satellite TV Wake Is Postponed - Pay TV Isn't Dying Fast, Either".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, August 18, 2021 at 1:23 p.m.

    Good one Wayne. What some people don't seem to realizeis that not everyone hates "pay TV" and the wide array of content and commercials it offers, nor is everyone simply out to save a few bucks on their "cable bill. So, of course, cable is not going to disappear nor are the satellite distributors ---who have taken the biggest "cord cutting" hits going to lose all of their subscribers. Not everyone devotes five hours a day "binge watching" episode after episode of the latest "edgy drama" series; not everybody never watches the broadcast TV networks or cable channels, not everybody so detests commercials that they will shun "linear TV" and AVOD too, etc.etc.;

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