New TV Definitions Wanted: D2C Making Traditional Pay TV Blackouts A Thing Of The Past?

The short Dish Network/Sling TV blackout -- which lasted just a few days this past weekend -- of all Walt Disney TV networks makes one thing clear: "Direct-to-consumer’" (D2C) takes on pressing importance.

Do you know of someone who canceled Sling TV -- as subscribers can do instantly -- and signed up for the Disney Bundle this past weekend, just as instantly?

That’s because we are in the middle of the highly watched football season -- with its big-time NFL and college football games.

If you want a version of the "Disney Bundle" of TV services -- which can include Disney+, Hulu + Live TV, and ESPN+ -- you have solved your problem.

The downside is that you are probably paying a lot more for that access.

Still, all the convenience is what consumers want -- the business is called "direct-to-consumer" for a reason.



For sure, if you are spending $35 a month on Sling TV, you might be hesitant to give up ABC Television Network, for instance, for the long term.

But going direct is better, isn't it? As part of the Disney Bundle package -- for around $65 to $70 a month -- to get Hulu + Live TV, which includes linear TV networks ABC and ESPN and a lot of other channels.

Consumers have come to understand TV "blackouts" -- when negotiations break down between distributors and a TV network group. History has shown Dish Network/Sling TV to be especially good at making headlines.

You might complain that all "big" media is ruining your entertainment media downtime.

But who's to say that new distributors of content -- those digital-first, third-party distributors -- Roku, Samsung, or Amazon Channels -- might not start a history of doing the same thing?

That said, you can go directly to the source.

The downside? TV network groups can raise prices at will.

The downside for those businesses? Dreaded "churn." Consumers always have the ability to cancel. 

What remains? Since TV networks won’t stop their new streaming platforms (unless some technical issues arise), we’ll need some new business words.

Not a blackout. Just "consumer out"?

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