Modern video streaming services are able to offer free-to-air and basic cable network shows within hours of their broadcast, giving rise to the trend of ‘cord cutters’ who are forgoing the useless bloat of costly cable packages in favor of on-demand streaming.
Yet there’s a couple of key holes in that strategy that have meant that people have often still had to hold onto their cable services. One of the big ones has been the three key premium cable networks for original dramatic series content – HBO, Showtime and Starz.
With the announcement of HBO’s stand-alone streaming service HBO Now on Monday, the question quickly becomes whether the other two will follow suit. CBS owns Showtime and today CBS chief Les Moonves revealed to investors that Showtime will be following suit in the not-too-distant future.
Moonves says: “There’s been a bit of interest – I think the floodgate is now open. We got a number of calls yesterday from existing players and digital players that we’ve talked to in the past…. The content we have at Showtime is also premium. I don’t think there’s any way, shape, or form for anybody to look at [the launch of HBO Now] other than as a major positive for premium cable.”
Moonves has also been ecstatic regarding the reaction to early testing of subscription streaming service CBS All Access which offers live broadcasts to people who live around the network owned stations. Deals are almost in place to offer the service throughout the country within a few months.
Earlier this week, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht seemed very positive about Time Warner’s plans for HBO Now and he doesn’t “mind them being successful trailblazers”. However his network is not where HBO is in terms of library size and brand yet so don’t expect similar subscription service for a while to get access to successful Starz shows like “Outlander,” “Black Sails,” “Power” and “Da Vinci’s Demons”.