The no-sports streaming bundle is coming soon from Viacom, Discovery, and others

September 12, 2017

(credit: Photograph by Aurich Lawson)

The countless number of TV streaming services continues to grow with the addition of a forthcoming bundle that leaves a big audience behind: sports lovers. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, media companies including Viacom, Discovery, AMC Networks, A+E Networks, and Scripps Interactive are joining together to create a sports-free streaming service that will have a “soft launch” in the coming weeks. The report suggests that leaving out sports, which is the most expensive type of programming, will allow the service to keep the price tag under $20 per month.

While the exact list of networks and channels hasn’t been finalized, it’s expected that all channels owned by the media companies involved will be included in the service. Many streaming packages include a number of live sports channels, but Viacom, Discovery, and the other companies involved believe there’s a market for an entertainment-focused bundle. According to the report, the package will include “nonfiction and lifestyle programming, children’s fare, and scripted dramas.”

Back in May, Viacom CEO Bob Bakish criticized current TV streaming bundles for not being “transformational” enough. He explained he believes the truly transformational services will be those that give customers “a new entry segment at a much lower price point,” possibly with optional sports programming. Current services offered by YouTube and Hulu include a number of sports networks and are priced between $35 and $40 per month. A new service at a $20-per-month price could be enticing for some users, particularly those who lament paying for sports programming they never watch.

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