TV Networks Put Subscriber Caps on Skinny Bundles and Streaming Video Services
Thinking about joining the ranks of cable cord-cutters and signing up for Sling TV? Better act fast.
The companies whose channels are included in Dish Network’s new online-TV service are putting caps on the number of people who can subscribe. If the limits are exceeded, content companies may have the right to pull their shows and movies, said Geetha Ranganathan, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
Subscriber caps are a way for the media industry to cope with an increase in viewers shunning traditional pay-TV packages with their hundreds of channels — many never watched. Programmers like Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner can’t ignore the rise of online options, yet don’t want these cable alternatives growing too fast. Cable companies pay fees to programmers based on their subscribers. If large swaths drop pay-TV plans for Sling TV or Apple’s planned service, it would mean less money for cable operators and certain programmers alike.