With HBO and CBS planning stand-alone streaming services, the oft-maligned pay-TV bundle has begun to loosen. But it’s not clear the brave new streaming world that replaces it will actually be cheaper for consumers.
By offering their networks directly to consumers via the Internet, HBO and CBS are cutting out the middleman—cable and satellite companies—and potentially undermining the backbone of the television business.
On the surface, this is seen as a win for people frustrated with rising monthly television bills and paying for lots of channels they don’t watch. Other networks are following the lead of Time Warner’s HBO and CBS, including Univision Communications Inc. and possibly Showtime, which is a unit of CBS Corp.
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