A sports-free TV package may be coming to an over-the-top streaming service this year, according to a new report from Variety. Viacom, the owner of Comedy Central, MTV, and VH1, is in advanced discussions with a streaming service to become part of an entertainment-only bundle that could cost less than $20 a month, CEO Bob Bakish said at the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media, and Telecom conference.
AMC and Discovery are also in on the talks, according to a report from Bloomberg last month.
The deal, which would cut out high-fee channels like ESPN and drop broadcast channels ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, would dramatically reduce the end cost for consumers, and could be priced between $10 and $20 according to Bakish. Variety noted that Bakish also said Viacom was working on repairing its frayed relationship with said streaming service. This could mean Sony’s PlayStation Vue is behind this potential package; it dropped Viacom channels in a pay dispute last November.
Whichever service does release the entertainment-only package, the hope is that a lower fee will entice a larger audience of users more than the current crop of packages from OTT services like Sling, DirecTV Now, and the aforementioned PlayStation Vue have attracted so far. The bigger question is how many people are interested in paying $20 a month for what amounts to fewer options than basic cable?