Why TV Mogul John Malone Believes the Basic Programming Bundle Offered by Cable and Satellite Distributors Remains Secure

May 19, 2016  •  Post A Comment

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone, speaking Wednesday evening in New York, explained why he thinks the basic bundle remains safe. Deadline.com reports that Malone appeared at a dinner where he was presented with the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian Award.

Commenting on pressure from Netflix and other streaming services, Malone noted that Netflix “started a flurry of investment in TV series. … It’s like a child’s soccer match. Everybody is chasing the soccer ball instead of holding their position.”

The sports analogy is significant, because Malone sees sports as one of the keys to the bundle’s security. He said sports and news can “sustain themselves in a digtal age where very few things have to be watched live.”

“The big bundle only breaks down if sports breaks down,” Malone said. “Because that’s the muscle. … Sports is the glue that holds the bundle together and I don’t see that coming apart anytime soon.”

One Comment

  1. Sports is the “muscle”, but I think most people would be surprised at the number of people who don’t watch or care about sports. Besides those that don’t care, many others are the ones that only care about their local or college team. These are moving to the internet over the next few years, if they haven’t already. The bundlers that are smart will soon realize that those to whom sports is the muscle, don’t care about HGTV, Hallmark Channel, etc. They will need to develop more specialized and price friendly bundles to keep that muscle looking like a 20-year-old instead of a 70-year-old. The sports fans will pay for their sports, but the big bundles are aging and about to die.

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