The just-announced mega-merger of Disney and most of Fox is only about one thing: the cold, hard fact that streaming television is not only the future of entertainment; it is the only future of entertainment.
In August, Disney announced it would pull its content from Netflix to launch its own streaming service in 2019. Titles that will eventually be removed include Disney entries such as the hugely popular live-action Beauty and the Beast and all those Marvel movies. But recycled titles everyone has already seen are nowhere near enough. Disney’s acquisition of Fox is only about feeding the content monster that is a streaming service.
Once the $52.4 billion deal is finalized, Disney will own the X-Men, Deadpool, and the Fantastic Four (Marvel creations that can now join the Avengers universe), Avatar, the Simpsons, Modern Family — all things Fox-related, except for the content that is not useful to a streaming: news and sports.
The most fascinating part of this story, though, is the following…
The denial over the inevitable death of the scam that is cable and satellite TV (which Breitbart News has been predicting and covering since our launch) is the single-worst thing that could happen to these left-wing megacorps. As it stands now, through cable and satellite, these companies make billions of dollars annually for networks that no one watches.
The reason your monthly cable bill is so high is that a whole lot of that money is going directly into the pockets of ESPN, MSNBC, CNN, and the rest. Whether or not you watch, you are still funding these left-wing networks. Very few cable networks could survive based on advertising revenue (meaning merit) alone. Too few people watch.
Disney’s move is not only a long overdue admission of the reality that cable TVs days are numbered, but by launching this streaming service, Disney is hastening the end of cable TV.
Already, thanks to established streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu (which Disney now owns a big piece of), cable TV is dying. Americans are altering their habits, conditioning themselves to a whole new way of watching TV, a way that is infinitely cheaper than cable. The content available for $10 a month through Netflix is endless. A relatively inexpensive outdoor antenna can deliver all kinds of free TV on top of that.
Millions are saving a thousand dollars a year through the simple act of canceling their cable. And once you get used to it, you never go back. It is like quitting smoking: you wonder how you ever enjoyed such an unhealthy and expensive habit.
Best of all, unlike cable TV, which mercilessly beats you with 20 minutes of commercials every hour, Netflix and Amazon have no ads. None.
Returning back to my earlier point, the moguls knew that they could not acknowledge this reality through the dangerous act of launching their own streaming service. To do so would only give cable customers another reason to cancel their cable subscriptions. The moguls were caught in a vicious circle.
But while the moguls were caught in this vicious circle, Netflix and Amazon ran circles around them. Armed with Scrooge McDuck piles of cash gained through actual merit — a value-priced portal to endless sources entertainment — the Streamers began to beat the moguls at what they were sure was their trump card: original content.
A few years back, after it became obvious that streaming was the reason why cable TV subscriptions began to decrease every year, the cable charlatans started to talk about strangling the streamers in the crib. The idea was to withhold content to make the streamers look like a Blockbuster Video store without a New Release section. Who would want to pay money for a service that is a full year behind the zeitgeist?
“You won’t share the zeitgeist!?!” Netflix shouted back.”Then we will create our own.”
Enter House of Cards — a Netflix original series that should be remembered as the Easy Rider of streaming TV, the thing that changed everything forever.
And then came Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, Luke Cage, Ozark, Narcos, The Punisher, Daredevil, The Crown, 13 Reasons Why, Jessica Jones, Sense8, etc. After just a few years, Netflix is the zeitgeist.
This is the beauty of a free country, a country in which stuffy billionaire-moguls fearing the change that will dismember their cable TV racket are not able to use the federal government as a weapon to stop a disruptor from building an infinitely superior mousetrap. From where I stand, Netflix is the greatest bargain in the history of American free enterprise.
And Netflix is just getting started. Up from 50 in 2017, next year, you will have access to 80 original movies — 80! If 65 of them suck, that is still cheaper than going to the movies. All those movies on top of countless original series.
Netflix is already a firehose of original content, and that is something Disney has finally surrendered to. But Disney is waaaay behind and is going to have to offer something a whole lot sexier than The Simpsons reruns if it is going to convince people to add another streaming network to Netflix, which already buries us in more content than we can handle.
The free market is working. The consumer is winning. And the crony capitalism that is cable TV is living on borrowed time.
God bless America.