For decades, TV consumers have had to pay a premium for sports whether they want to or not.
A new bundle could end all that.
A group of cable companies are banding together to introduce a new streaming service that will feature cable TV content without sports, a proposition that has been rumored for months.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday evening that Discovery, Viacom, AMC, A+E and Scripps—which together control a variety of the major cable channels—have reached an agreement and that its new service will see a “soft launch” in the next few weeks.
The service is slated to cost less than $20 a month, a competitive price to other options that tend to cost around $35. SlingTV is among the cheapest with a $20 plan.
The list of internet TV options has been growing steadily in the past few years, as have the number of Netflix-style on-demand services. Consumers now have far more choice in what kind of content they want to pay for and how they want to watch it—for better or worse. A new sports-free bundle adds yet another option to the list.
The allure of the sports-free bundle is that sports tend to be expensive. ESPN alone costs cable TV customers $9 per month whether they watch it or not. Some estimates put the cost of ESPN at $36 per month if only its viewers paid.
The service would reportedly also not include major broadcast channels NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX.