Cord Snipped: Mark Cuban Nails It on Cord Cutting, ESPN Seeing Success with Snapchat

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Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban was on CNBC this morning discussing a whole bunch of things, including cord cutting:

“Money is always made in content by aggregating and disaggregating, and people are trying to disaggregate right now to see if there’s money there. But at some point, someone’s gonna walk in an say I’m gonna aggregate HBO Now, I’m gonna aggregate Sling, I’m gonna aggregate CBS, I’m gonna aggregate whoever else is streaming. They’re gonna come to CNBC and say, look, I’ve got this $99 package where we take the work out of you picking who to stream. And now, all of a sudden, AT&T or whoever comes back and say, well they’re selling it for $99 to get all the channels… we’ll sell you 200 channels for $89.”

I almost tore my rotator cuff cheering him on with that, because it made me feel smart. I’ve said almost the exact same thing about bundling streaming services many times.

Since it’s kind of our lane around here to post about cord cutting and sports streaming and such, people email me and ask if they think they should save money and cut the cord. But it’s not going to be about saving money. Broadband providers will charge more for the more capable broadband tiers that will be needed to handle all the streaming (one reason why the Comcast-Time Warner deal getting approved would hurt competition and ergo your wallet). And that’s before someone comes in and bundles everything together and what you’re left with in 5-10 years is something that looks exactly like your current cable package, only with content that’s available online, on all your devices, and by that point probably embedded into your skin via the  Epidermis.



I’m guessing most of our readers – late 20s, early 30s – aren’t fully into the Snapchat thing, but it’s huge among basically everyone under 25, and what the company is doing with media right now is fascinating. From a Sports Business Journal piece about how ESPN is delivering highlights on Snapchat:

A Winter X Games post on Snapchat Stories logged close to 30 million views for ESPN, sources said. While Snapchat posts delete shortly after they are seen, posts on Snapchat Stories stay on the platform for at least 24 hours.

ESPN’s posts on Snapchat’s Discover platform generally are seen about 1 million times a day, sources said. In January, ESPN signed on as the exclusive sports service on Snapchat’s Discover platform, which also includes content from companies like CNN, Comedy Central, Food Network and Vice.

Snapchat, like Instagram and Vine, is built for mobile. Unlike YouTube or Facebook (and maybe a little bit, Twitter), they’re not legacy desktop platforms being converted to mobile. They’re mobile-first. There’s an entire generation of young people who not only will never watch traditional TV, but who also will never understand why we all used to “go online” by sitting at a desk and typing in a URL. Being built for mobile – and, sadly, portrait video – gives these platforms a huge leg up going forward. Next up: Periscope.


17 Responses

  1. Meh

    Actually, the only thing keeping cable afloat is live sports, that’s why the fees the leagues are charging are so high, and why the networks keep airing games on ESPN, TBS, etc instead of the flagship stations.

    The tipping point is when the NFL or NHL decide to dump the networks and try to make their cash by selling their own content via streaming services.

    Or you could be like me and cut the cord and just stop watching most sports. Once you stop, you realize how much time you were wasting before.

  2. I keep saying i’m going to cut the cord…. but i’ve been actually pleased with my x1 service. I was paying substantially more, heard a commercial selling 89.99 for 12 months with x1 to new customers and called up to complain of why i, as a valued customer, was paying more for less service. I kept asking for someone higher up until someone stopped passing the buck, admitted i had a point and gave me the new customer service discount and the x1 box.

    It’s not hard to get decent deals out of comcast…you just have to be willing to spend the time on the phone with people that have very little will to live.

  3. Cecily Tynan’s Dad passes away and you write about Mark Cuban?!?!? RIP Robert Z’dar.

  4. whatever, we’re all gonna be blind in 10-15 years due to the continued “miniaturization” of video content.

  5. It’s kind of ridiculous to think we’re going to end up where we were before with huge bundled packages that cost $150+ a month. The demand for choosing what channels you want to pay for makes it seem more likely to me that the stubborn cable providers finally stop bundling hundreds of channels together and revise their business models to compete with the new streaming services like SlingTV.

    Regardless, the outlook is still horrible because Comcast will just make up for their losses by fucking those of us who cut the cord with data caps and higher prices. When they’re blocking local municipalities from supplying us with cheap/extremely fast internet connections (that actually compare with what other countries already have) due to “unfair competition” in the courts, it should give you an idea of how screwed we really are. The aforementioned argument is actually meaningless until someone stops their monopoly.

  6. It’s interesting that Cuban makes these statements, yet is opposed to net neutrality. If internet providers are able to drive up the costs of streaming services, that seems to contradict what he is saying a bit, no? Basically sure, you can bundle your streaming services, but you are also going to pay more for the internet.

  7. As the technology advances yet becomes even more simplified to use, young people’s attention spans get shorter, their face to face socialization skills deteriorate further, and their ability to process information and truly Think as individuals devolves. Young people today have never been less rebellious toward corporations, more trusting and dependant upon the System to survive and thus, are the stupidest generation.

    1. Are you kidding me? My G rated posting needs to be moderated first?!! what a pathetic blog

  8. Anthony Gargano opened up on the Mikey Miss show. Very savvy PR move if that was foreshadowing a bigger role in the future. Clearly more than an April fools stunt. Well payed 97.5…well played.

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