In what should go down as a day everyone will remember Disney CEO Bob Iger told CNBCs Squawk Box that EPSN will one day be sold straight to consumers. While no dates or details have been set, this move will be the death of cable TV as we know it.
Sports is the number one reason people who want to cut the cord keep cable TV. With sports increasingly becoming available without a cable subscription ever-greater pressure is now on other cable channels to make their content available outside of cable television.
It is expected that ESPN will still be available on cable TV, just like HBO, Showtime, and CBS. The ESPN standalone service will not mean the end of ESPN on cable.
The real positive effect of this is that it will force other networks that have been resisting making their content available online to face the fact that cord cutting has changed everything.
Here are three things we expect to happen now that the last safe haven of cable TV is leaving.
- Many more networks will offer their own standalone service or partner with services like Sling TV or Netflix.
- Cable providers will work quickly to launch cord-cutting friendly services like Sling TV.
- One major cable provider will move to make a la carte TV a reality.
I would expect these three changes to happen long before ESPN is officially available directly from ESPN.