Pay TV Loses 305k Subscribers; Cable About to Cave with 'Virtual Cable'?
The end is nigh for the legal racket known as bundled cable. And that is great news for freedom and for America. Variety reports that during the last quarter, pay TV collectively lost a net of 305,000 customers. This, despite the fact our American population is always growing.
Incredibly, Variety also spins that as good news, a signal "that cord-cutting has slowed down in recent quarters, and the threat remains largely a theoretical one." But over in this other corner, pay TV is already preparing to yell "uncle" with what would be the first-ever crack in the bundled cable non-monopoly monopoly.
It's called "virtual cable" and Dish, a satellite pay TV provider, is close to cobbling together a deal with America's Bundled Cable Monarchs -- those multi-nationals who rape and pillage the American people across every pay television platform with overpriced packages that force you to pay for dozens of channels you never watch just to get the few you do.
The fact that Dish is even considering this is proof the Bundled Cable Monarchs know their lousy product is overpriced, especially in a world where Obama's oppressive economy reigns and you can subscribe to more programming than even God could watch for just $7.99 a month at Netflix Streaming.
The targets for this proposal are young people; those who have already been socialized into the culture of television streaming. In the old days before streaming young people were the fresh meat who grew up into the suckers that kept bundled cable growing and growing and growing.
That lucrative trend has since done an about-face:
It's hard to get those pesky Millennials to sign up for cable television, but Dish Network (DISH) thinks it knows how to do it -- using the Internet.
The satellite TV distributor is on track to introduce a slimmed-down bundle of cable channels to Internet subscribers by the end of this year, the company's chairman said on Wednesday. …
To launch "virtual cable," however, Dish needs agreements with major providers of programming. It announced one such deal with The Walt Disney Company (DIS) in March, and another, with A&E Networks, earlier this week.
Those deals would let Dish's streaming service carry big channels like ESPN and the History channel without having to carry smaller channels that are owned by those same programmers.
That last paragraph is just one of the reasons your cable bill is so high and your cable package is so jammed with channels you can hardly ever find the channels you do want to watch.
America's Bundled Cable Monarchs (left-wing, Obama-loving multi-nationals like Time Warner, etc.) demand that cable packages not only come with channels we never watch, but that we pay for those channels we never watch.
For example, if you want Turner Classic Movies, Time Warner might insist that 20 crummy channels come with it. Or if you want Fox News, it can only come in a package with MSNBC and CNN.
And from something called carriage fees, you and I are making CNN and MSNBC rich and prosperous, even though we don't watch them. While you're watching Megyn Kelly, against your will you are also lining the pockets of Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon.
This kind of arrangement could foreshadow future "unbundling" of channels -- but the programmers, which depend on bundling, are being careful to protect themselves and their business model.
That's partly why Ergen has been billing his planned service as a way to sign up people who otherwise might only pay for Netflix -- not as a replacement for existing cable or satellite subscriptions.
BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield, who has been closely following the "virtual cable" concept, said Dish's offering "will be a smaller bundle -- meaning not all current players."
"It's not for everyone but will have enough content to be interesting to 5 -- 10 million people, I suspect," he said.
What our Bundled Cable Monarchs think they can do here is only let a little of the toothpaste out of the tube. The suckers who are already being raped by bundled cable will not be allowed to purchase these smaller packages. That's how arrogant and dedicated to this racket these people are.
Bundled cable isn't just a windfall for greedy cable companies; it's also a windfall for all these lousy networks no one watches. Collapsing ratings? No problem, CNN, here's a few hundred million from the suckers not watching but still paying.
Content providers -- the people, studios, and production companies who produce the actual programming we watch -- are also cleaning up. There are 500 channels out there desperate for content. Nobody watches these channels but they're still making money off the suckers and need to broadcast something.
The financial racket is bad enough. Bundled cable is also way through which the Left keeps its hands firmly around the neck of our culture. You want Fox News? Fine. But you are going to get MTV, LOGO, and MSNBC with it.
What's hilarious is that Dish apparently believes people will pay $30 for a small streaming cable package -- which only proves that they still see us as suckers.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC