I’ve long thought that live sports broadcasts were one of the only things keeping people tied to their cable contracts. However, the media paradigm is quickly changing as more and more content is streamed to a growing number of internet-connected devices.
Earlier this fall, Amazon announced that it would live-stream 11 Thursday Night Football matchups through it’s Prime Video streaming service. While initial ratings and numbers (2.4/5 stars) are down, the majority of negative feedback is from frustrated customers unable to connect to the stream — probably non-techie folks trying to plug their firesticks into an HDMI port. I’ve had nothing but great experience so far and have watched the last 5 matchups on Prime without a hitch. The difference between ‘streaming services’ and cable is pretty straightforward — with streaming the customer has more choice of where, how, and when they consume their content. Say the Thursday night game just went into overtime, it’s getting late and you have work the next day, no problem, just grab your phone, tablet, laptop, or whatever and finish watching the game from your bed. Oh, you’re on a train and you see a tweet that Dalton and the Bengals have a chance to win if they can convert a 2 min drill? Again, pull out a device, fire up the Amazon Video app and watch the Bengals find an unbelievable way to lose another football game.
The point here is that companies like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and even Google and FaceBook, have figured out how to get content directly to consumers — no wires attached.
Cable needs to update their tech before my grandmother figures out her iPhone or they’re toast. Or, (what is starting to happen now), they need to sell out and move their content onto these ‘smart’ (Amazon, etc.) platforms and pump out their services over the internet.
Check out Hulu and the channel packages that they’re starting to offer. Welcome to the internet, network television.