Univision, it seems, doesn’t want to be left out of the OTT party.
The Spanish-language broadcaster is the latest to unbundle its services from cable and satellite subscriptions, according to The Wall Street Journal—although pricing and rollout dates are yet to be announced.
The company is going to make its UVideos service available over the top for on-demand streaming and live viewing.
The move follows announcements earlier this week by CBS and HBO that they are also going over the top—news which will certainly add fuel to the debate over cord-cutting and how serious of a threat it is to the existing television industry architecture.
Univision’s content distribution chief has said that three-quarters of its viewers in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic only watch Univision, meaning the company has an incredibly loyal base from which to draw users to a paid streaming service.
All of this unbundling, however, might not result in lower prices for consumers, the Journal cautioned.
“A future where television viewers subscribe to each channel individually could be cheaper for young people who only watch two or three channels,” the paper writes. But households where many different viewers have varied tastes could result in prices that shoot way above the current $90 average monthly cable bill.
CBS is setting its initial streaming package at $5.99 per month in the 14 markets with it also owns a station. HBO has yet to unveil pricing.
Taken together, this week marks a tipping point for television, according to LA Times business and consumer affairs columnist David Lazarus.
“The popular channels and networks will go rogue with their own online services, while the companies that dominate the pay-TV landscape now will try to retain customers with smaller, cheaper bundles and perhaps a smidgen of a la carte,” Lazarus writes.
Verizon has already announced that it will offer its own a la carte service, and Lazarus predicts its only a matter of time before the other major broadcasters follow suit.
Brief Take: Holdouts are going to find it harder and harder to resist going over the top as the early entrants market their new offerings to younger viewers hungry for streaming options.