Report: Streaming-only cable package coming?


Cable / SatelliteSo says a NY Post story, which notes, “The day is coming soon when our favorite cable shows – like Showtime’s critically acclaimed Homeland – will be available out of the box from a single national source. A streaming-only bundle of channels, likely with a coast-to-coast reach, may be offered to viewers for the first time in 2014, according to several TV-industry heavyweights.”

Talk about TV Everywhere’s evolution: “I think there’s a very strong chance of that,” Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said of an OTT service rolling out next year, this week at the UBS media conference.

Added Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo: “I think [over-the-top] is coming, and we would certainly be happy to license our content. They’d have to buy the package of services we sell.

Verizon, which already has national mobile rights to primetime NFL games, is seen as the most likely to be the first to move in the over-the-top space, according to the story.

The phone giant has been circling what’s left of Intel’s virtual video platform, OnCue. Intel is selling the service for $500 million, according to Bloomberg, after giving up its development because of the financial risk involved.

As well, John Malone’s Liberty Global is reportedly in talks to acquire OnCue, said Bloomberg: “Malone would use Intel’s system outside the U.S., said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. London-based Liberty Global owns Virgin Media in the UK, and operates in Germany, Belgium and elsewhere.”

“Verizon is having talks via its FiOS team, and its approaches have been welcomed because it can market a service nationally without running into the same regulatory concerns as traditional players,” one major programmer told The Post.

Speculation has also been centered on a Charlie Ergen-backed Dish-branded over-the-top programming play, and on a Comcast Xfinity streaming service, as being the most likely to provide a package of cable-like programming via the Web.

See the NY Post story here

RBR-TVBR observation: Why not? MVPDs should be doing all they can to cater to younger consumers, who would likely flock to such a package. Bottom line, they keep dollars in their own pockets, rather than seeing cord cutters or cord-nevers viewers flee to Netflix, Hulu or other internet-only streaming programming providers.