Originally Posted by tenthplanet
The challenge is if you don't own content you are increasingly at the mercy at the content providers, and that can raise your costs. That's the challenge to Google, Dish/Sling, Fubo, and even some cable systems. If Disney and Comcast go direct to viewers at some point that can throw a monkey wrench into everything. I think you're right about Google they can add channels and get some stability, and rates will go up, but prices go up on everything. Most people want all their TV channels in one place, and want it to work well, even if they use different apps for everything else.
Yep. Totally agree. I think that over the next few years we're going to increasingly see cable TV providers who don't OWN content get out of the business of operating their own TV services. Why bother? The economics are lousy when you don't own any of the content, the content owners keep forcing price hikes on them, the profit margins they make on cable TV is way lower than on their broadband service, there's a lot of support involved in issuing and recycling all those TV boxes, and the subscriber base keeps dwindling. Much easier to just resell one or more of the streaming services, some of which will offer live cable channels, e.g. YouTube TV, Hulu, AT&T TV/HBO Max, etc. I can't see any good reason why Comcast's new Peacock service won't eventually offer the option to add packages of live cable channels inside the app, just as Hulu already does and HBO Max will do next year.
Given Google's size, and the huge presence they already have in advertising and streaming video distribution with YouTube, they're one of the few non-content-owning companies I can see potentially making cable TV distribution work. But I really do wonder whether we'll see Charter, Verizon, Cox, Altice, etc. still running their own cable TV services in the back half of the 2020s.