With the proliferation of subscription video on demand services, some have started to suggest that the traditional paid-for TV model will come crashing down. However, in its interim report for the first half of 2015, Sky included an interesting graph that illustrates why the service might stick around for quite some time.
Titled ‘Sky’s eco-system’, the graphic shows all the areas of Sky’s activity overlayed with bubbles that represent the new competitors in the market. As indicated by the graph, Sky continues to offer a range of sports, entertainment and online streaming that can’t be matched by another single player in the market. And while users might be able to subscribe to a range of different services to attain what they want, but Sky offers the benefit of accessing everything in a single place.
That being said, the Kiwi SVOD market is still in its infancy, and nothing’s a given. Coliseum Sports Media has already enjoyed a few content wins on the sports side and the SVOD players are starting to encroach onto some of the premier programming that was previously exclusive to Sky.
Also, if the US example is anything to go by, then Sky could also have a few more future hiccups in it way. Recently, HBO announced that it would be offering its service independent of cable network.
And as explained by Esquire, this was a quite a significant move:
In 2015, you’ll be able to subscribe to HBO by itself, without a cable subscription. It’s one announcement, but it’s had more of an impact in one day for the takedown of the cable oligopoly than any other single action to date. And companies like Netflix have spent the last half-decade trying to doonly that.
Those companies, Amazon and Google’s YouTube included, have made incremental gains in chipping away at a $100-plus billion cable oligopoly that—with the impending merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable—might become even harder to break down. But this was a wrecking ball.
As TechCrunch put it today: Let the Unbundling Begin. Or, in English: Let the death of cable commence.
The Esquire article goes on to say that if all the sports packages were unbundled, enabling viewers to pick and choose what they wanted, that the cable industry could lose millions of dollars in annual revenue.
Fortunately for Sky, this issue has not yet raised its head here as significantly as it has in the United States. But things are changing quickly—and in a market defined by content, Sky’s ability to offer the most well-rounded service will largely be determined by how effective it is at holding onto its content partnerships.