“Skinny Bundles” are in and cable packages are out, but consumers still want the “Big Four” networks to be a part of their viewing experience
A new survey released by The Diffusion Group (TDG) asked over 2000 consumers what five networks their ideal skinny bundle would consist of. Despite the growing number of channels available, the Big Four broadcast network groups occupied four of the top five spots
NBCUniversal led the pack and was selected by 48% of those who participated in the survey, followed by Fox (41%), Disney/ABC (41%), and CBS (38%). Coming in sixth and seventh place is A+E (37%) and HBO (36%).
[READ] Patty Hirsch Named VP & GM of Warner Bros. Digital Labs, will Oversee SVOD Service DramaFever
“Live Big-4 broadcast viewing is diminishing, as with virtually every major network. This should not imply, however, that their death as brands or as major forces in consumer video is inevitable,” says Michael Greeson, Director of Research at TDG. “The value of their content is immense; top of mind for many viewers.”
Far down on the list at number eleven is Disney-owned ESPN. The fact that none of ESPN’s channels made it to the top 10 suggests Disney’s decision to make ESPN Plus a premium add-on to its linear channel may have been a smart move, according to TDG.
“Many expected ESPN Plus to be the online equivalent of ESPN, but Disney decided that the risk of cannibalizing high-value linear pay-TV subscriptions would create substantial channel conflict and hasten the declines in pay-TV subscriptions. This risk is inherent in the DTC model and must be addressed group by group, even channel by channel.”
These standings also offer important insight into the viability of a new vMVPD entrant, Philo, which is populated by the channels of A&E, AMC, Discovery, and Viacom. While this may at first glance seem too specialized to gain mass appeal separate from a broadcast bundle, based on this report, the combination of networks may prove attractive.