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The subscribers will lose. If you look at the 200+ channel subscription packages MVPDs provide it is easy to list 100 channels that you never watch. Drop them all and theoretically you could reduce bills by up to $50. But the "never watch" channels vary by subscriber. There is a good chance that when the MVPD model dies it will take several channels you do watch with it.
This will come across coarse, because viewing habits vary greatly from one person to the next; but I could care less if a lot of channels disappear as the broadcast/TV landscape evolves.

Similar to the rise of regional sports networks, college conference-specific channels, etc., we've seen a huge rise in the number of genre-specific channels; the plethora of Discovery channels, MTV 2/Classic/etc., Nat Geo Wild, Hallmark's movie-specific channels, all-horror movie channels and more. And just as we heard for years that "some people didn't want to pay for sports", I didn't want to pay for channels that I never touched. Even as I subscribe to YouTube TV now, the wife and I regularly touch maybe 20 channels a month. And her viewing habits definitely do not mirror my "80% sports, 20% everything else" viewership.

For decades, we have all paid for content we never utilized, wanted/needed, or maybe even knew was there. And that bubble kept growing and growing, until maybe it's met its bursting point. Are we really losing if we lose things we paid for and never used, anyway?
 
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Similar to the rise of regional sports networks, college conference-specific channels, etc., we've seen a huge rise in the number of genre-specific channels; the plethora of Discovery channels, MTV 2/Classic/etc., Nat Geo Wild, Hallmark's movie-specific channels, all-horror movie channels and more. And just as we heard for years that "some people didn't want to pay for sports", I didn't want to pay for channels that I never touched. Even as I subscribe to YouTube TV now, the wife and I regularly touch maybe 20 channels a month. And her viewing habits definitely do not mirror my "80% sports, 20% everything else" viewership.
An innovative feature that YTTV has -- which I imagine channel owners aren't thrilled about -- is to let the user sort linear channels in the live guide by "most watched". A lot of folks would probably be surprised how few channels they watch much. Get a few rows down into the guide and think "Gee, I don't care about this channel that much and yet it's still my 8th-most-watched channel?"
 

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Uh, have you watched cable TV in the past few years? Because pretty much all those channels do is endlessly air reruns (i.e. library content + repeats of recent premiers) with very little of their schedules devoted to fresh premier content. Among the new never-before-seen stuff they do air, the vast majority of those hours fall into one of two categories: news/talk or live sports. So all that to say, I'm not sure we see any less new content on a weekly basis once the entire system (including news/talk and sports) has fully migrated from MVPD to DTC. Maybe a little less, but not drastically so.

Once this migration has finally played out, each DTC SVOD will basically be like buying just that media group's set of cable channels. Disney+ will contain all the content from ABC, Disney Channel, Disney XD, FX, FXX, Freeform, Nat Geo, etc. (For reasons I've expounded above, I don't see all the ESPN content making its way into the DTC model; maybe a sprinkling of the most popular, or most affordable, goes into Disney+ and the rest gets absorbed into team/league/conference-specific DTC services?)

Likewise, HBO Max will contain all the content (including sports and news) from those Warner Bros. Discovery nets: HBO, TBS, TNT, CNN, Discovery, HGTV, Food, TLC, Cartoon, TCM, etc. Same for Paramount+ and Peacock (should they survive). The little AMC group of cable nets is already making all their content available through their ad-free DTC SVOD called AMC+. That one is definitely not big enough to survive long-term, which is why everyone knows AMC is aiming to get acquired by a bigger group. Same fate awaits other little channel groups like Hallmark/Crown Media and A+E Networks. (Well, it's also possible that, after the MVPD system dies in the 30s, those small media groups like Hallmark -- or even mid-sizers like Paramount -- continue to exist solo and simply make and license their content out to multiple third-party SVODs, with a couple series on Netflix, another series on Disney+, holiday movies on HBO Max, etc.)

Of course, there's a good amount of new original content that each media group reserves just for their DTC SVOD and isn't putting on any of their linear channels. For WBD, it's their Max Originals on HBO Max. (Note WBD just announced that TBS and TNT will see no new scripted series going forward. Makes sense, as those resources are going into Max Originals.) For Disney, it's their Disney+ Originals and Hulu Originals.

In his recent quarterly earnings call, Ergen had to admit and explain some surprisingly poor numbers for Dish and Sling. And he chalked those up, at least in part, to broader problems that exist with the current MVPD content model. "We think we can make our product better with the help of our content providers," he said. Not really sure what he has in mind there but I do know that Dish has been a leader in the past in terms of trying to offer more flexible, cheaper channel bundles, e.g. Flex Pack (a move later emulated by the likes of Charter Spectrum TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, and Verizon FiOS TV).

Perhaps we'll see him ask the content providers to allow Dish to just sell bundles of their own cable channels (which would unavoidably also include any broadcast network O&Os the provider owns in select major markets). For Disney, that would definitely include the ESPN channels, making their channel pack the most expensive -- in my mind, they might be the most resistant to this idea. But what if each channel pack also included the relevant DTC? Buy the package of Disney-owned channels and also get the Disney Bundle with ads (normally $14/mo for Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+). Buy the package of Paramount-owned channels and also get Paramount+ with ads (normally $5/mo). Buy the WBD bundle of channels -- which would unavoidably include HBO -- and get HBO Max with ads (normally $10/mo). Any of those apps could be upgraded to ad-free for an up-charge. And as Dish already offers, you could buy a package of just your locals separately for (IIRC) $12/mo. (or instead integrate them via OTA antenna for free). Let each content owner set their own price with Dish adding a standard % on top for distribution and support costs plus profit. Of course the total price, if you purchased all those channel packs, would cost more than the current system. But the consumer would also be getting more total content (all that stuff exclusive to the DTC apps, e.g. Disney+ Originals, the ESPN+ content, etc.). And, critically, there would be greater c
choice.

Doesn't it seem like that scenario is the logical next step as the MVPD system evolves into the DTC system? The lines between linear and SVOD will increasingly blur, I think, as the latter swallows the former.
I think something like this is the logical next step, but, it also begs the question, why even bother with those bundles when you can buy the streaming services without them, and for cheaper (most likely). This is especially true if they follow WBD lead and stop all scripted content on their linear channels. I guess there's sports and that could be a driver, but otherwise? Why bother? Convenience for us old schoolers?
 

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The bundle will be how the content is sold. You would probably see each bundle as a service. The Peacock bundle, the Paramount bundle, the Discovery bundle, the Apple bundle. You will still be buying access to large libraries even though your interest may only be on one shelf.

And yes, it would be more convenient to have one interface instead of a collection of various apps. MVPDs will be selling the presentation of the channels and possibly be able to offer a discount since the individual streamers won't be handling billing.
 

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An innovative feature that YTTV has -- which I imagine channel owners aren't thrilled about -- is to let the user sort linear channels in the live guide by "most watched". A lot of folks would probably be surprised how few channels they watch much. Get a few rows down into the guide and think "Gee, I don't care about this channel that much and yet it's still my 8th-most-watched channel?"
I've said this a couple of times in other threads; I consider YouTube TV my monthly sports subscription service that just happens to come with some broadcast networks and a handful of channels to appease the better half. That's what it also was when I was paying for satellite. Didn't matter if there were 50 channels, 150 channels, 2,000 channels. I was still watching the same stuff. Regardless if your thing is movies, news, sports, we only have a finite capacity to consume content, regardless of the medium, and humans are creatures of habit. We find what we like and get in a rhythm with it. And the "nice to haves" are usually because of a slim amount of programs. If the main distributor really values those items, they'll get moved to another channel. (ex: NBC Sports Network dissolving and moving some content to USA Network.)
 
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And that is the thing. If your top 10 channels all come from the same channel provider you will probably win when those channels move from the MVPD model to the DTC model. If your top 10 channels come from ten different channel providers then you may be buying 10 packages to get those channels. And still get hundreds of channels you never watch.

The channels may not be numbered. They may be mostly VOD channels (few live streams) but they will be there. All part of your multiple subscriptions.

Hopefully most people won't be paying more for the 10 packages (or however many they need) than they did for a full MVPD.
 

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And that is the thing. If your top 10 channels all come from the same channel provider you will probably win when those channels move from the MVPD model to the DTC model. If your top 10 channels come from ten different channel providers then you may be buying 10 packages to get those channels. And still get hundreds of channels you never watch.

The channels may not be numbered. They may be mostly VOD channels (few live streams) but they will be there. All part of your multiple subscriptions.

Hopefully most people won't be paying more for the 10 packages (or however many they need) than they did for a full MVPD.
And on the heels of the cost announcement of Bally's DTC streaming service and this thread conversation, we get to the million dollar question that a lot of us will inevitably have to answer; How much is watching everything absolutely want on television worth to you?
 
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Furthermore, I don't know why major NCAA Div. I conferences won't also do DTC streaming too.
I think the biggest answer to this is that several of the conferences (SEC and ACC, I know) all joined in with ESPN. I don't know how long that contract is - but I seriously doubt you'll see a Direct to Consumer platform for these conferences as long as that ESPN contract is on the books, because it would lead to a mass exodus of ESPN's per subscriber revenue when all of those customers cut cable. Unless the Direct to Consumer price is $40 or $50 per month (or more)

Other conferences that had a direct to consumer option, the OVC had this, they had an OVC Digital app on Roku and on their website. It was free. And it broadcast, I think all OVC sports games, I know they did all basketball games and I'm sure they did football games.

But instead of charging for it, the decided to get in bed with ESPN+. Maybe there just wasn't enough of a market for a paid OVC Digital platform and by joining with ESPN+ they were able to get a piece of the more distributed pie.

I think a lot of this Direct to Consumer options will depend on just how far reaching Internet "dumb pipes" goes. Direct to Consumer almost exclusively requires that consumers have an Internet connection and probably some type of streaming device. But believe it or not there are actually areas that exist that just can't get a reliable Internet connection - at least one capable of consistently streaming.
 

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I think a lot of this Direct to Consumer options will depend on just how far reaching Internet "dumb pipes" goes. Direct to Consumer almost exclusively requires that consumers have an Internet connection and probably some type of streaming device. But believe it or not there are actually areas that exist that just can't get a reliable Internet connection - at least one capable of consistently streaming.
For how long? In the 1930s there were areas in the country without electricity too. The internet (or better term is Broadband access) has become as important to Americans as electricity, oil, heck TV reception. There are initiatives in the country to bring broadband to everyone. It will happen over the next 10 years, just as the TVA and other projects brought electricity to rural areas during the first half of the last century. We kinda have to stop thinking about those places that don't have broadband as if they will NEVER get it. Eventually they will, and it will be sooner rather than later. Companies have already begun planning for that inevitability, but there are lots of folks who still think it's important to consider something that will be going away eventually. Maybe it's just that we hate change and are looking for excuses to "keep things as they are" or maybe it's just to be contrarian. I don't know. I've said in this and other threads, the media landscape is making a major shift and we are in the middle of it. I fully expect things to look vastly different in 5-10 years. I didn't believe it myself a few years ago, but it's inevitable. Just look sports and streaming and the forays that we are seeing with MLB and the NFL especially. They are putting their toe in the water so to speak. And once they realize it can work, they will go in all the way.
 

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Leaving out the politics, I don’t see anything like the TVA, or the better example is the REA, today. I grew up in a really poor area, where there was no TV to speak of until the BUD was invented and destroyed the local cable bandit and his 4 ghost filled channels.

There are still people there, and the situation is the same, and, of course, there is no internet and no cell service. And the one thing my childhood taught me is that nobody really gives a flying F*** about rural Americans and if you want better, GTFO, which is what I did, the day I got out of HS.
 

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There are initiatives in the country to bring broadband to everyone.
I would encourage you to go live in one of these parts of the country. You'll see that those areas are high on promises but low on action.

You can easily see this. There are swaths of the country with no cell phone coverage. Yet all of the cell phone companies are jumping all over themselves trying to be the first company in cities that can offer 5gb/s speeds that nobody needs. You see cable companies advertising their services on TV, but they never expand beyond the footprint that they cover now.
 

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I would encourage you to go live in one of these parts of the country. You'll see that those areas are high on promises but low on action.

You can easily see this. There are swaths of the country with no cell phone coverage. Yet all of the cell phone companies are jumping all over themselves trying to be the first company in cities that can offer 5gb/s speeds that nobody needs. You see cable companies advertising their services on TV, but they never expand beyond the footprint that they cover now.
Next you'll tell me they don't have electricity and indoor plumbing too? What made that change? Eventually the government will subsidize them so they will do it. I can get into politics and potentially why it's not happening now, but I won't.
 

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I'm just saying these companies will tell you that they're going to expand their broadband coverage. But as soon as they get money, they spend it offering faster and faster speeds (that people don't need) in the places that they already cover. How many times has AT&T taken government money to expand broadband and how much have they actually expanded broadband?

If by now (2022) you don't have a coax cable hanging from the utility poles around your house or fiber buried along your right of way... you ain't getting that type of broadband ever. I'll believe it when I see it.

I live in one of these areas. I know the pain. People that have had cable TV/Internet or fiber optic Internet all their life do not understand the perils of not having access to this. They'll certainly preach that it'll eventually come to all individuals... when that same claim was made 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago and things are exactly the same today as they were 40 years ago.

Sure, it's a cost of the rural living. I understand that. I get that. I even agree with that. But don't go around saying that it'll eventually come to everyone when we the people that live in these areas have first hand experience that it is in fact NOT going to happen.

I also understand that it's expensive to run cable or fiber down stretches of roads where 3 or 4 houses exist. I get that. But broadband is not going to reach everyone if it's not reaching those people. I'm saying that the goal shouldn't be getting the 85% of the country faster speeds than they'll ever need while the remaining 15% suffers with dialup. Why does a household of 4 need access to 1gbps/2gbps/10gbps Internet speeds?
 

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I think something like this is the logical next step, but, it also begs the question, why even bother with those bundles when you can buy the streaming services without them, and for cheaper (most likely). This is especially true if they follow WBD lead and stop all scripted content on their linear channels. I guess there's sports and that could be a driver, but otherwise? Why bother? Convenience for us old schoolers?
Yes, because for some amount of time over the next few years, there will remain some content -- mainly certain live sports, cable news/talk -- that will remain exclusive to cable channels and not available within the DTC service. And also, I think it will still be a few years before we see the current arrangement where broadcast/cable shows aren't available on the related DTC until the following calendar day. Eventually, that will go away -- ABC shows will be available on Disney+ immediately, just as HBO shows are available immediately on HBO Max.

And then, beyond that, yes, there's the comfort factor for (mainly older) Americans who like having content served to them via linear channels all next to each other in a live grid guide.
 

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Yes, because for some amount of time over the next few years, there will remain some content -- mainly certain live sports, cable news/talk -- that will remain exclusive to cable channels and not available within the DTC service. And also, I think it will still be a few years before we see the current arrangement where broadcast/cable shows aren't available on the related DTC until the following calendar day. Eventually, that will go away -- ABC shows will be available on Disney+ immediately, just as HBO shows are available immediately on HBO Max.

And then, beyond that, yes, there's the comfort factor for (mainly older) Americans who like having content served to them via linear channels all next to each other in a live grid guide.
The bolded part is happening in September as the longtime ABC show Dancing with the Stars will move to Disney+ and away from ABC.
 

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I think the biggest answer to this is that several of the conferences (SEC and ACC, I know) all joined in with ESPN. I don't know how long that contract is - but I seriously doubt you'll see a Direct to Consumer platform for these conferences as long as that ESPN contract is on the books, because it would lead to a mass exodus of ESPN's per subscriber revenue when all of those customers cut cable. Unless the Direct to Consumer price is $40 or $50 per month (or more)
First, AFAIK, the arrangement that the SEC and ACC have in place with ESPN for their branded conference channels only covers traditional TV rights, not DTC OTT streaming. Now, perhaps their contract with ESPN does include DTC OTT rights (and ESPN simply isn't exercising those rights by putting those games in ESPN+) or, alternatively, perhaps ESPN doesn't hold those rights but there's something in the TV contract that precludes those two conferences from shopping their DTC OTT rights elsewhere or launching it themselves (i.e. maybe the contract gives ESPN the right of first refusal for DTC OTT rights). OTOH, maybe their TV contract with ESPN doesn't touch DTC OTT rights at all, meaning that the SEC and ACC are biding their time and mulling over what to do there. "Do we launch our own individual conference DTC services? Do we band together? Do we sell to a middle-man distributor like ESPN+?" I honestly don't know which of these scenarios is the case in terms of their current contract with ESPN. (Same holds true for the Big Ten's existing TV contract with Fox Sports.)

Other conferences that had a direct to consumer option, the OVC had this, they had an OVC Digital app on Roku and on their website. It was free. And it broadcast, I think all OVC sports games, I know they did all basketball games and I'm sure they did football games.

But instead of charging for it, the decided to get in bed with ESPN+. Maybe there just wasn't enough of a market for a paid OVC Digital platform and by joining with ESPN+ they were able to get a piece of the more distributed pie.
Yes, I suspect that's the case. OVC just isn't in the same league as the big "Power Five" conferences: SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12.

I think a lot of this Direct to Consumer options will depend on just how far reaching Internet "dumb pipes" goes. Direct to Consumer almost exclusively requires that consumers have an Internet connection and probably some type of streaming device. But believe it or not there are actually areas that exist that just can't get a reliable Internet connection - at least one capable of consistently streaming.
That's true but based on everything I read, I tend to think that only maybe about 12% of the US population can't get decent-priced reliable fast-enough home broadband to do multiple concurrent HD video streams (i.e. at least 25 Mbps down). The advent of T-Mobile and Verizon fixed wireless home internet is driving that figure down and so will the RDOF and other infrastructure money from the federal government intended to extend broadband, particularly fiber, out into the hinterlands. Yes, there's a small but shrinking portion of the American public for whom satellite TV is the only form of pay TV they can access. Those rural dwellers are Dish's and DirecTV's last stand. But that slice of the public will melt away to near-nothing by the end of this decade.
 

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The bolded part is happening in September as the longtime ABC show Dancing with the Stars will move to Disney+ and away from ABC.
OK, but what you're describing is something different than what I meant. You're referencing an entire series shifting from linear to become an exclusive DTC show. It's not that you'll be able to watch Dancing with the Stars live on both ABC and Disney+ at the same time; you won't be able to watch it on ABC at all! So this is an example of the hollowing-out of linear TV in favor of that company's DTC service.

What I'm talking about is, how long until you can watch an ABC or FX show that same night on Disney+/Hulu as you can watch it on the linear channel, rather than waiting until past midnight Pacific time to stream it? How long until you can watch a primetime MSNBC news/opinion show that same night on Peacock instead of waiting until the next day, as is the case now? How long until the live stream of CNN shows up in HBO Max?

Right now, the contracts that those channels have in place with MVPDs preclude them from doing that. Their contracts say that those channels' content must remain exclusive to the channel until the next day. This is obviously something the MVPDs want, to keep the channel owners from doing any end-run around their channel bundles and taking their channels directly to consumers via streaming. But at some point, that dam will likely break. The AMC channel group has apparently already amended their carriage deals with MVPDs to allow it, as their own AMC+ DTC service shows new episodes at the same time, or in many cases even before, they premier on their linear cable channels.
 

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What I'm talking about is, how long until you can watch an ABC or FX show that same night on Disney+/Hulu as you can watch it on the linear channel, rather than waiting until past midnight Pacific time to stream it? How long until you can watch a primetime MSNBC news/opinion show that same night on Peacock instead of waiting until the next day, as is the case now? How long until the live stream of CNN shows up in HBO Max?
I don't think you will ever see that with the big 4 networks. I think the network will keep the ones they want exclusive. The ones they don't they will offer to Disney+/Hulu the same way CBS did with Seal Team and Paramount+.
 

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The network affiliation contracts offer their affiliates the right to first distribution in their market. That window has tightened up considerably with the "streaming the next day" offerings. If the networks went to same day streaming they would be worth less to their affiliates. I believe NBC / Peacock has done that on a limited basis. Saturday Night Live is live on NBC and Peacock. (I thought Fallon was also to be available same day but that apparently did not come to pass.)

There is ZERO obligation that any programmer or distributor makes their content or service available to every household in the United States. Broadcast channels apply for licenses and are required to transmit a signal within the limits of their license but that license does NOT require the station to cover an entire DMA nor does it require the station to contract with others to cover any portion of their DMA. Streaming services could easily (and legally) limit their offering to one provider only or select providers.

Market forces will lead content owners as to how their content is distributed. They do not have to wait for broadband to reach another home before changing from MVPD to DTH distribution. They just have to make the decision of how to distribute based on how much it pays them. If they can make more money by steaming DTH there is no requirement to work with MVPD providers ... regardless of how many millions of homes cannot view the content.
 

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I don't think you will ever see that with the big 4 networks. I think the network will keep the ones they want exclusive. The ones they don't they will offer to Disney+/Hulu the same way CBS did with Seal Team and Paramount+.
Just to be clear (and you may not disagree with this), ABC and Fox already make all their shows available next-day on Hulu; NBC already does this on Peacock Premium; and CBS already does this on Paramount+ (and even include a live stream of the local CBS station on their premium tier). In addition, NBC already includes live streams of most of their sports on Peacock Premium (including this year's Winter Olympics, Super Bowl, Sunday Night Football, etc.) and CBS already does this with their live Sunday NFL games and some other live sports content on their base Paramount+ tier.

So what I'm talking about is just the next incremental step of making network primetime series available at the same time (or at least same night) on the DTC streamer instead of waiting a few hours until the next calendar day.
 
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