Unbundling and a la carte were forbidden words in the traditional video world a few years ago. However, with Dish recently announcing its Sling TV streaming service, cable nets launching streaming options and a slew of online video providers changing the competitive space in video, unbundling and creating consumer-friendly TV packages are expected to happen sooner or later, speakers said at a CES panel in Las Vegas.
Unbundling sounds promising, but more choice and the possibility of paying less do not necessarily translate into consumer satisfaction.
As Internet-video options proliferate, consumers will have a growing list of reasons to stop paying $90 or more per month for multichannel television. And the jockeying is now under way among programmers and distributors to prep the life rafts if viewers decide to jump en masse.
Not so long ago, people argued that HBO wasn’t going to unbundle anytime soon, or ever. So what changed?
Unbundling of cable networks — the move for a la carte programming for TV consumers — would drastically alter the entertainment/TV advertising markets. Needham & Co.’s media analyst Laura Martin estimates in a new report that $45 billion in TV advertising revenue — or 60% of all TV advertising — would be at risk of disappearing.