On Point On Point

Support the news

The Growing Allure – And Ease -- Of Unbundling Cable TV47:01

Play

The Internet “unbundles” cable TV. We’ll look at big new deals and what they mean for cost, content and you.

In this March 9, 2015 file photo, Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, talks about HBO Now for Apple TV during an Apple event in San Francisco. For the first time, Americans will be able to subscribe to HBO without a cable or satellite TV subscription. (AP)
In this March 9, 2015 file photo, Richard Plepler, CEO of HBO, talks about HBO Now for Apple TV during an Apple event in San Francisco. For the first time, Americans will be able to subscribe to HBO without a cable or satellite TV subscription. (AP)

The cable bill can look awfully big when it comes every month.  For years, TV-viewing rebels have looked to “cut the cord” – to ditch cable and find what they want over the Internet.  This season, that is getting easier by the minute.  Big players are moving to offer “skinny bundles” of TV viewing.  Get just what you want, not the whole cable smorgasbord.  Sony marched its new service out yesterday. An online version of pay TV.  Forty-nine bucks.  Apple’s jumping in.  Dish has Sling TV.  HBO is breaking out of cable land.  This hour On Point: the Internet now actually unbundling cable TV, and where it goes.
-- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Shalini Ramachandran, TV and broadband industry reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@shaliniwsj)

Craig Moffett, partner and senior research analyst at Moffett Nathanson Resarch.

John Brillhart, owner and installer at Cable Alternatives. (@jbrillha)

James Poniewozik, TV critic for TIME Magazine. (@poniewozik)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: Unbundling Pay-TV Brings New Questions -- "The media industry is racing toward an Internet-TV future at a breathtaking pace. But the swift changes, highlighted by efforts from Apple Inc., Dish Network Corp. and others, are giving consumers an array of confusing options and forcing entertainment giants to confront some sober realities."

Washington Post: Could Apple become the next Comcast? — "The decline of traditional television has been years in the making, but it has dramatically accelerated in recent months. The cable business is at its weakest point in years. Subscriptions have declined, and new federal rules protecting net neutrality limit the ability of companies like Comcast to charge other firms more for faster streaming to viewers."

Forbes: Will An Apple Web TV Service Be The Tipping Point For Cord Cutting? -- "While it feels good to only pay for the channels you want, cord cutting is going to add up. Say you end up paying $40 per month for Apple’s TV service. There’s no hint yet if that will include HBO. That might be another $15 per month on top. Then there’s $9 per month for Netflix, $9 per month for Hulu Plus and $8.25 per month for Amazon Prime. Suddenly, you’re paying $81.25 per month for TV. That’s not including what you pay for Internet service (and many people also get their phone service through their cable company in a triple play)."

+Join the discussion
Share

Support the news

Next Up

Where to now?

More On Point or Explore Audio.