Online Content Replacing Pay TV, but What About Sports?

August 8th, 2011

The Hollywood Reporter, a longtime home for behind-the-scenes reporting on celebrities and the entertainment industry, offered some interesting statistics on the Internet's growing influence over what we watch on TV. The article, quoting analyst reports from research firm SNL Kagan, stated the following:
“…homes that rely on Internet-based distribution to view professionally produced content in lieu of a traditional pay TV subscription will grow from 2.5 million at the end of 2010 to 8.6 million in 2013 and 12.1 million in 2015. Those estimates amount to 2 percent of occupied U.S. homes in 2010, about 7 percent in 2013 and nearly 10 percent in 2015.”
With the range of wired and wireless AV streaming products now available, it's not hard to understand why so many more people are opting for a connected TV experience. Just recently, we shared a list of over 700 streaming media links (thanks to those who submitted!) that prove a content migration is in effect. TV is being re-defined progressively as each new media source draws another user away from cable. But of all the content available, there is one glaring omission. Whether it's the commoditization of sports by ESPN or the growing number of profitable team networks, the Internet lacks live sports coverage, though channels such as ESPN are pushing viewers to view content online that augments their live coverage. Major League Baseball has the Extra Innings package, and ESPN3 helped us procrastinate at work by airing the World Cup and March Madness and the biggest playoff games are always shown on a major network. But day-to-day sports fanatics will likely not find the variety of sports content that can be delivered by expanded cable. In addition to the ESPN family, cable provides Foxsports, the aforementioned team networks, not to mention specialty networks like the Golf Channel, NFL Network and MLBTV. Bluntly, cable has a lot more to offer over the Internet when it comes to exclusive and in-depth sports content. Of course, in a perfect world, we can stream HD content and have our cable too, providing the best of both worlds, but the economy and excessive cable fees are making some people question this decision. We're curious, is sports entertainment important enough to keep cable, or will you be saying sayonara cable and cutting the cord? Let us know in the comments, on Facebook or via Twitter.

About the Author



IOGEAR enjoys long walks on the beach and romantic getaways. While not traveling, IOGEAR enjoys a great game of shuffle board whilst playing the banjo.