HBO is on its way to changing the TV landscape. The popularity of its programming and the demand for its HBO Now App is beginning to give people a cable free option that did not exist even a year ago. When HBO Now launched it was available exclusively through Apple devices but it is now available on Android tablets and phones, as well as Amazon Fire tablets though not Android TV or Fire TV yet. HBO has said that people are not leaving cable in favor of Broadband Internet and their service but I am starting to wonder if HBO Go and a combination of other streaming services have not influenced some of the at least 3 million pay TV cancellations we have seen in the past year.
Should Legacy TV Companies be worried yet?
The fact that ESPN is looking at their viewership numbers and adjusting their budgets (if that is in fact why they canned the notoriously difficult to work with Keith Olbermann) should be a very bad sign for that industry. Seeing ESPN talk of eventually offering its service separately from a pay TV package is like watching ice caps melt as a judgement of the planet’s temperature. The fact that it is happening begs for the issue to be examined. When we wrote that ESPN and HBO were key to cable and cord cutters we did not know yet that any of the developments of the past year were so close on the horizon. This fall may be a very exciting one for cord cutters and a rough one for the pay TV industry.