Fighting over the living room

Here’s an almost-interesting piece about the future of how you watch sports. You work through the need for cable for your sports fix, baseball’s success with streaming, how other leagues follow what MLB does and the need for cable. Cable is always important:

ESPN might be the pied piper for a different kind of strategy, though. Rather than cutting cable and paying only for what you want (the “a la carte” model), you’d pay one price and get everything, everywhere. Yes, you need cable to get WatchESPN, but once you’ve logged in you’re effectively untethered from your TV. Your cable bill buys you access to all the things you want to watch, wherever you want to watch them, on whatever device you choose. And because it’s the company setting the restrictions for the leagues, ESPN’s platform doesn’t have weird local blackouts, or odd weekend restrictions — you just watch ESPN as you always have.

The Verge is also running a War for your TV series. Stock Gumshoe is using Television 2.0 and the new golden age, and really the $2.2 trillion war for your living room. There are also the game consoles and emerging gadgets.

And it all sort of leads to this piece, which is worth reading in full and defies excerpting, really. But:

Because the percentage of households with a cable or satellite subscription is now declining for the first time in the history of television.

3 million Americans have already cut the cord, including 425,000 in the past 3 months alone.

And according to Credit Suisse analyst Stefan Anninger, those “cord-cutters” are joined by a new group: the “cord-nevers.” A full 83.1% of new households are choosing to live without pay-TV.


Robert Johnson said about the shaky state of the cable industry last month at a conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.

“In the next two or three years, something’s got to give. At some point, the consumer is going to say enough is enough.”

He’s one of the most powerful men in the pay-TV business, warning his fellow fat cats that their bloated, inefficient industry may collapse by 2014…

TV isn’t just the next great transformation of the Internet Age… it’s the BIGGEST one of all.

Of course, it will change things for us in the college setting. Not everything, but quite a bit. Content will still be important. Effective storytelling will remain key.

How we view our audience has to change; how they see us has already shifted.


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