Times have been tough for the traditional television broadcasting company. Between the millions of Americans who’ve already cut the cable TV cord once and for all, there’s the fact that online outlets are competing for the same advertising dollars. Add in the fact that many simply can’t afford the cost of cable and the realization that they are rarely planted in front of a TV long enough to enjoy it, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. It makes sense then that Comcast, a cable giant on the East Coast, is about to enter the streaming television fray with its “Instant TV.”
According to Consumer Reports, Comcast plans to roll out the Internet-based service come fall 2017 and plans to offer fewer channels than a typical cable TV package at a lower price. How much lower? Current estimates place the total between $15 and $40 per month, which isn’t bad, says modern media expert Gary Nerlinger.
“If Comcast is targeting millennials with a ‘skinny’ TV package, more power to them,” says Nerlinger. “This generation spends most of the time on their smart phone – not in front of a television set – and while they may still enjoy some programs on TV today, they can’t afford the average monthly cable bill of $100.”
According to the Consumer Reports article, those who choose to subscribe to Instant TV will be able to stream the content on their mobile devices and possibly “smart” TV sets. One of the driving ideas behind this service is that outlets like Netflix are largely based around movies and original content; the fact that shows from programmers such as ABC or NBC don’t have an established foothold in streaming services at the moment means there’s room for improvement. Factoring for plans from Hulu and YouTube to roll out similar streaming services means that the realm of entertainment is about to get a little bit more competitive.
“I think that many people have just decided to ignore the offerings of the old broadcasters, get a relatively cheaper subscription to Hulu and conclude that one form of entertainment is as good as another,” said Nerlinger. “What Comcast is saying with its Instant TV plans is that there’s room for more platforms on the digital frontier and they are going to invest the time and effort into offering a quality service.”