We unplugged from a cable plan when we moved to North Carolina and needed to save some cash. We’ve done pretty well using Netflix and Hulu, but have really missed watching sports. This season we shelled out $20 a month for NHL’s Game Center only to get shut out of watching the playoffs. I’m still happy with our setup, but the opportunity to watch playoff hockey without borrowing a login would be stellar.
This is a good read for those who are considering cutting the cord and what a hypothetical unbundled plan would look like.
A certain segment of consumers have been clamoring for years for cable distributors to break up the monolithic, 300-channel bundle into a la carte offerings. For those who don’t watch sports, the logic goes, why pay for ESPN? Why pay for TLC if you don’t watch reality TV, or CNN if you don’t give a damn about news?
We’ve now reached the era that’s putting those theories to the test. In addition to non-linear streaming services like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, consumers have more bundle-breaking options than ever. There are individual channels, like HBO, Nickelodeon, and CBS, available through over-the-top, internet-based, streaming access. There are small bundles of streaming channels, like Dish Sling. And there are even new pared-down bundle options in the traditional pay-TV realm, from Verizon FiOS.
But the a la carte dream has always had two main obstacles. One is the conflict between programmers…
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