It’s no secret that the “skinny bundles” offered by services like Sling TV and DIRECTV NOW are the most popular trend in television today, with hundreds of thousand of customers deciding they’re just not going to pay for channels they don’t watch. Cable companies are being forced to change their ways, and it looks like another media company is making the jump.
Viacom announced today that they’re working on a $20 a month skinny bundle that should be released some time in 2017. The offering would likely be made up of the company’s networks like Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, BET, Nickelodeon and TV Land, plus a few more networks from outside the family. News or live sports networks, which are often some of the most expensive to carry, likely wouldn’t be present.
Company CEO Bob Bakish revealed the bundle while speaking at the JPMorgan Tech, Media and Telecom Conference. He admitted that he has noticed a sharp decline in the number of cable subscribers willing to pay out over $100 a month for a cable bundle, but also noted that the around $40 offerings from Sling were “not economically sustainable.”
Bakish also said he hopes this bundle would help the company restore relations with cable and satellite providers, which have become a bit “frayed” as of late. He said he hopes to revise current carriage deals before they expire, hoping to correct inferior rights grants to smaller subscription services.
Verizon’s leap into the skinny bundle market just proves even more what many industry experts are saying: the face of the television landscape is changing drastically. And if big cable doesn’t adapt, they’ll quickly find themselves left behind. Of course, some say it’s already too late, and that cable is in a spiral that can’t be corrected.
Either way, all the competition only means good things for subscribers.