Do Not Call Direct TV Now A Cord-Cutting Service. Direct TV Now will be a streaming option for receiving Direct TV. It will not be a skinny bundle or cord-cutting service. Really nothing is a cord-cutting service. There are just services that people sign up for in place of their cable or satellite services. Call that cutting the cord if you like, but it is just replacing one set of pipes for another. It’s like saying “I am quitting on electricity” because you replace electric heating with natural gas. Some of those services are considerably cheaper than a traditional cable service, especially at the intro rates. But let’s get something clear. What is happening is that the delivery system for television is shifting from one thing to another. Or in the case of satellite services and cable services it is changing from two things to another.
With Internet speeds growing seemingly exponentially companies like the recently purchased Time Warner Cable (Now Comcast), which offers TV packages directly through Roku in some markets, Verizon and Dish with Sling TV are shifting their delivery systems to become more nimble. This started of course with Netflix who mainstreamed the idea of high-quality video delivery via the Internet. Satellite video delivery has an expiration date and its called widespread 5G availability.
Direct TV Now has not released any helpful details about how its newest service will work. While there are “leaked” emails posted on some message boards about the scope of what the service will deliver until a product officially rolls out we will not know what it actually offers and to pretend to know more than this is disingenuous at best and outright click bait at worst. So far, most Internet-based services have the same exact drawbacks. For one they don’t support offer local affiliate channels unless those channels happen to be network owned. The services offer packages based on deals made with specific providers. Sling TV for instance, offers two differing services Blue and Orange under one banner with major differences between the two channel lineups, most notably when it comes to ESPN VS Fox Sports. Sling TV to its credit sort of defined what a skinny bundle can be and does maintain the lowest priced offers. Sony’s PS Vue offers the same confounding tier system that cable companies always have. Three prices for three channel lineups with no apparent pattern as to what is offered. For Sony to advertise Vue as anything but a discounted cable bundle is tantamount to false advertising.
We are getting to a place soon where the conversation is not going to be about Cord-cutters, VS Cord Shavers, VS Cord Keepers. The marketplace is evolving to a place where consumers have a lot more ways to watch content whether they get it from next day delivery services like Hulu and CBS All Access, Live via Sling TV or traditional cable/satellite. And the inclusion of more services is beginning to bring down the prices of the services across the board in general or at least forcing legacy companies to react with more packages. Millennials don’t call themselves cord-cutters. They are just people watching what they want in multiple ways. Eventually, the industry will catch up to that idea. Whether those who report on it will is anybody’s guess.