Following news that HBO was planning to launch a standalone online streaming service for those non-cable TV subscribers, comes CBS’ own announcement of a similar move.
Specifically, CBS chief Les Moonves revealed yesterday that, after a year in conversation within the company, a $5.99 per month all access service that will include a live stream of the network, full current seasons of prime-time shows, and a catalog of classic sitcoms and dramas.
Essentially, you’ll be able to watch CBS live, on whatever web-enabled device you prefer, without a cable TV subscription, or bothering with an antenna for your TV. And you’ll have access to current and past seasons of its shows to watch whenever you want.
And viewership will be counted by Nielsen, the same way it is on TV, according to Moonves.
We don’t yet have details on HBO’s planned streaming service (notably price), but, as I said in that post, this is a step towards à la carte pricing that many of us have hoped we would see in the near future. Instead of paying $60 to $100+ for a cable TV service that includes hundreds of channels you don’t, and will likely never watch, you pick the handful that you do want, and pay for the lot. Although, depending on how many you do select, your monthly fee could add up rather quickly, and then you’ll find yourself paying what you’d typically pay for cable TV.
As for how cable TV and satellite providers might react to these moves (I can only wonder if other networks will follow) – Moonves doesn’t seem concerned, stating, "every media company in America is thinking about direct-to-consumer, mobile, digital," adding that, cable and satellite providers are mostly mixed about these new developments: "Some understand it and like it because, by the way, one of the things we are stressing is that [providers] can be part of it."
Content is king, and he who owns the content, is king.