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September 21, 2023 7:26 am  #1

Sports Streaming Puts U.S. Cable In Penalty Box. Could It Happen Here?

This article from CNN notes that, not only is cord cutting getting worse in North America as cable prices increase, the owners of big sports channels could be helping accelerate the decline. More and more are offering consumers a healthy menu of live games - one of the main attractions of a cable package - as separate streaming services. 

And that's leading many to dump their packages altogether, helping to kill the "Cable Bundling" golden goose that's kept the industry alive for decades.

"[Media analyst Michael] Pachter said that the major content providers are “screwing themselves” by making such programming available to consumers through their streaming platforms, arguing that they are transitioning to a less profitable business model that will bring pain to the entire industry.

“Media is going to make less money,” Pachter said, predicting that the moves would lead to deeper budget cuts and more labor disputes.

Canada has Sportsnet+ and TSN+ getting in on the streaming action, with both Rogers and Bell benefitting. But could they also be contributing towards their own cable empires' demise? 

Live sports is migrating to streaming, taking with it a superpower of the cable TV bundle


September 21, 2023 8:20 am  #2

Re: Sports Streaming Puts U.S. Cable In Penalty Box. Could It Happen Here?

Could it happen here?
Let's see...ROGERS owns cable/Ignite TV + Blue Jays  
Bell has investments in Raptors and...

That might be the difference?  
Are any American teams owned by a cable company, Dish service or their version of Fibe TV?

RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.


September 21, 2023 9:06 am  #3

Re: Sports Streaming Puts U.S. Cable In Penalty Box. Could It Happen Here?

True, but the argument could be that by streaming their teams, they're disincentivizing people from subscribing to cable to get their sports fix. It used to be the only way to see the games. It isn't anymore. 

And no matter how they price it, they'll never make the same amount as they do from a cable package. TSN+, for example, is listed as selling for $8/month. There's no cable component that cheap. 

Plus, I find it kind of a delicious irony that for years, cable subscribers wanted to be able to pick their choices "a la carte" instead of having to pay for stations they never watch. If the cord cutting continues because viewers can now get their Leafs and Jays coverage on the relative cheap, how will some of those fringe channels (I always used to use Book Television as among the most questionable of cable stations) survive? The only answer is they can't.

So as the CNN article notes, by giving sports fans an alternative to getting the games they want, the cable giants are effectively cutting their own throats. 

     Thread Starter

September 21, 2023 10:13 am  #4

Re: Sports Streaming Puts U.S. Cable In Penalty Box. Could It Happen Here?

While in decline, cable will likely be here for a long time.  And as Radiowiz points out, our situation is a little different anyway.

Streamers have their issues as well.  For one, less reliable service and picture quality for live programming, with freezing and jerking video and sound.  Unless the power goes out, cable rarely goes down. 

I have watched a few of the Blue Jays games streamed and the technical issues were kind of annoying. Too much lag, freezing and break up of audio and video.  

And cost isn't always that great with streamers.  In the US Hulu with no ads starts at $17.99 per month as of Oct 12.  BUT, if you want to watch live TV, you need Hulu + which would be $81.99 per month as of Oct 12th and this includes ESPN with ads and Disney with no ads.  Many homes have two or three streaming services, so the costs can go up very quickly, and you still won't have the variety of cable. 

And if cable were to fade away, watch for the streamers increasing prices quickly.  The only streaming company that currently makes any money is Netflix.   All of the others are deep in the red. 


September 21, 2023 10:49 am  #5

Re: Sports Streaming Puts U.S. Cable In Penalty Box. Could It Happen Here?

A  communications/sports word problem...  (show your work...)


Rogers + Bell  =   "CAKE"


Sportsnet  +  TSN  =  ICING


(Rogers X Sportsnet+)   and  (Bell X TSN+)   =  "Eating it too"

Okay, times up...  pencils down



September 21, 2023 11:25 pm  #6

Re: Sports Streaming Puts U.S. Cable In Penalty Box. Could It Happen Here?

This is one of those speculation posts that annoy me. Of course it won’t happen here. Rogers and Bell are trying to slow cord cutting as much as humanly possible in this country. Everyone knows that. TSN+ features overflow programming that almost nobody wants to watch. That’s why it’s so cheap.