Greenberg son of Hank Greenberg — at that time, running Fusient Media Ventures, a New York-based sports and media company — with the idea for a subscription network featuring college sports 24 hours a day. From their headquarters and studio operations at Chelsea Piers in New York City, CSTV was the first independent pay-television channel to be distributed nationwide, having been carried on satellite provider DirecTV at launch. In the fall ofCSTV launched more than broadband channels dedicated to college sports, which feature more than 10, live events. As part of the relaunch, the network added a new news program, College Sports Tonight.
But for cord-cutters who still want to watch traditional cable channels, the merger will inevitably make TV more expensive. Because of these lineup differences, cord-cutters had more control over their TV spending. You could also avoid both network groups entirely with YouTube TV, which focused more on news, sports, and broadcast channels.
The Discovery-Scripps merger put more channels on more live TV services—but consumers have ended up paying more. Some live TV providers may have even wanted to add Discovery channels to their lineups over time anyway.
But as practically all the coverage of the acquisition noted at the time, the deal was clearly a play for negotiating leverage, which Discovery clearly got. Blowing up your bundle Surveying the live TV streaming services today, the distribution of CBS and Viacom channels looks similar to that of Discovery and Scripps a couple of years ago.
In fact, PlayStation Vue dropped Viacom channels from its lineup in late to keep prices down. Assuming the CBS-Viacom merger goes through, we can predict how the next round of negotiations will go: If Sling wants to keep offering Viacom channels, it might have to agree on carrying CBS stations, thereby wiping out its proposition for cheaper live TV service.
And while other streaming packages have avoided carrying Viacom channels, they might have a harder time doing so in the future without sacrificing local CBS coverage.
Beyond the bundle The silver lining here is that CBS and Viacom have other reasons to merge beyond just squeezing pay TV subscribers for more money. In a post-merger era, that may change.
Pluto TV is already a better service than it was six months ago, and CBS All Access would really benefit from the kind of back catalog that Viacom can provide.
Having more and better a la carte options is ultimately good for cord-cutters. He also writes two newsletters, Cord Cutter Weekly and Advisorator.