HBO and Showtime have begun providing their content through stand-alone subscriptions. Sony has announced it would soon provide customers with the ability to choose individual channels for those subscribed to its PlayStation Vue TV service.
What channels would people actually pick and pay for, if they had the ability? People may be surprised by the answer they get.
ESPN, a Disney-owned sports network that’s considered the costliest cable network, is often noted as the biggest reason people opt not to cut the cord. However, a Digitalsmiths survey has revealed that just 36 percent of people, if given the ability, would add the channel to their personal a la carte TV channel lineup.
ESPN’s percentage is even less than ABC’s percentage of nearly 67 percent, Discovery Channel’s 62 percent, History’s 58 percent, Comedy Central’s 43 percent and The Weather Channel’s 40 percent. If consumers were able to choose their own television programming, ESPN actually ranks 20th on the list.
It could be the reason the station hasn’t looked far into the future. While it did sell subscriptions for the Cricket World Cup, it’s not likely it’ll join in Sony’s a la carte lineup for the reason of it asking for high premiums. At the moment, pay TV service providers are shelling out about $6 per subscriber for the ESPN channels.
Many networks could benefit from unbundling, especially if they could strike a deal with company like Sony to handle the billing. Consumers wouldn’t mind paying $38 a month for the lineup they want, which tends to average about 17 channels.
When compared to the money consumers are paying right now, it’s no wonder why people want to have a choice. About 40 percent of folks pay over $125 a month for home phone, Internet and TV service with another 23 percent paying in excess of $150 a month.
Nearly 82 percent of people would rather choose what channels they’d want to view.