It’s John Oliver. It’s Trevor Noah. It’s mainstream favorites Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers. It’s Saturday Night Live. It’s Bill Maher. It’s the viewers who get their daily news from social feeds on Twitter and Facebook, but watch late-night TV to finish off consumption.
Less and less U.S. citizens are watching cable. NBCUniversal has invested in their own “cable network” that spins off of Xfinity. On NBC’s Peacock, they have three tabs: the left-most is “channels” where users can see a variety of options, including a CNN-like “The Choice.” Of course, NBC already has MSNBC, but I’ve discussed before how CNN will be sorry it didn’t pivot to digital sooner.
YouTube ads are officially worse than TV ads
Yes, you are seeing more ads than ever before. And it sucks.
More and more studios are ditching cable. In September, Peacock launched The Amber Ruffin Show — a Peacock-exclusive late-night program. Ruffin was (and is) a writer for Seth Meyers on NBC. Meanwhile, more and more networks are getting pitches for streaming-exclusive content on Netflix, Peacock, Disney+. iCarly is even getting a reboot on ViacomCBS’ Paramount+ later this year. We’ve seen similar announcements: Fuller House launched on Netflix a couple of years back, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air saw an HBO Max special with the original cast this year.
Late-night TV is just the last cable fatality in a long list of them. The only thing hanging on here is sports and cable news from CNN and Fox. Cable news will likely be the first to go, although it’s not certain.
For consumers’ sake, it’d be nice to see leagues and networks come to agreement on viewership making “blackout games” an ancient term. Currently, purchasing an MLBTV or NFL RedZone subscription doesn’t grant you access to watching your home team. Even if your team plays on a Fox Sports regional network, Sinclair Broadcasting hasn’t guaranteed that a cable provider will even have the games.
The way we watch sports may change whether broadcasters want it or not. Obviously, cable providers love blackouts because it means a person needs to buy their service to watch the New York Mets from Manhattan. Or if you reside in southern Nevada, you’ll encounter six blackouts in the MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers/Angels, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Oakland Athletics, and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Last year, Google partnered with MLB to stream one free game on YouTube per week. Amazon has ties in the NFL and in soccer to stream one NFL game and Premier League matchup per week to Prime users. NBC’s Peacock streams several motocross events and NBC Sports programming.
It’s the fault of cable for monopolizing their industry. If they hadn’t have monopolized it, your internet bill would be $30 max and treated as a utility, not a luxurious $90 expense. So when cable finally becomes an obsolete service (if it isn’t already), just remember what they did to deserve it.