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Summary:

Jon Stewart’s Daily Show could soon be available live on the internet, if Dish Network has its way. The pay TV operator is reportedly in talks with Viacom about making its live feeds available online. The question is: how much would you pay for it?

jon stewart

Dish Network is in talks with Viacom about offering its cable TV programming over the internet, according to a report published by Bloomberg Thursday. The goal of these talks would be to offer TV networks like Comedy Central and MTV as a live stream to subscribers without forcing them to also buy into a traditional cable or satellite TV subscription package. Dish is apparently also talking to Univision and Food Networks owner Scripps about teaming up for such an offering.

An internet-only TV subscription with smaller, more customized bundles would be great news for cord cutters. However, one of the biggest issues that needs to be resolved seems to be the pricing. From the article:

“Dish wants to reach consumers around 18 to 28 who would rather pay $20 a month for a smaller package of channels to watch on computers or mobile devices, CEO Joseph Clayton said in an interview this month… Negotiations bog down because programmers aren’t willing to sell Dish the rights for a low enough price to make a service viable, he said.”

It makes sense that the price of any such offering would be a stumbling block. If it’s too low, Viacom won’t sign on. if it’s too high, consumers won’t bite. Of course, the question is: how much is too much? We figured we should ask our readers to find out.

Let’s assume, for now, that Dish would sell this type of internet-only offering with a much smaller bundle, which would mainly consist of Viacom channels. You’d pay $10, $20 or $30 a month in return get the ability to stream new episodes of the Daily Show, the Colbert Report and the MTV Music Awards live, when they air on traditional TV. How much would you pay for it? Please let us know by answering the poll below, and feel free to elaborate in the comments!

Want to learn more about watching TV without paying for cable? Then check out my book Cut the Cord: All You Need to Know to Drop Cable.

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  1. In a much simpler world where torrents didn’t exist, I would be willing to pay in micropayments of $0.25 per episode. .mp4 file, directly from the east coast feed when it aired.

    Streaming video is not appealing because they can’t help themselves and insert ads in between segments.

    1. Well if you think about it, the ads ARE the $.25 per episode. Which is a decent amount to pay for free entertainment. What gets me is that people actually pay for comedy central, and then have to watch TWICE the commercials, and have to sit down at a certain time to watch the show “live”.

  2. Not interested in Live feeds. I don’t consume content like that. A streaming service that worked like the traditional TV model doesn’t make sense. Instead I want to watch like I do on Netflix. I pick when and where. That I would pay for.

  3. I would not pay for a bundle. At All.
    I would pay for the content that I am interested in.

    Content providers need to get over the silly notion that by bundling things I’m not interested in with the things I want, they can justify a higher price.

    1. This is the exact issue I have. I have *never* paid for cable in my life, even pre-internet era. I grew up in an area without the option of cable, so I never developed a channel surfing, have-to-talk-about-it -the-next-day habit. When I flip through cable channels at a friend’s house it seems like a sea of garbage. The very idea of bundles is a waste to me. I don’t even use my regular TV for watching the channels I get with an antenna very often. If I happen on a show I like, I generally buy it on DVD or blu-ray, because most services like iTunes think I shouldn’t be able to back it up where/how I want, because they fear piracy more than making money off of people like me. Renting individual episodes isn’t worth it at 2 bucks a pop each either. And it’s not that I’m all about free; I tend to buy apps if there’s one that outshines free options for more than 99 cents. These companies need to find a sweet spot price-wise and let me watch it when I want, since I won’t plan my life around a TV–or any other device for that matter. They need to get over the outdated models and offer true ala cart viewing of channels. That might get my interest.

  4. What viacom channels?

  5. Difficult to say. We have a habit of hitting ‘record series’ on the DVR for a lot of pretty bad shows that we then play as background or diversion when we feel like it. That adds up to a lot of shows, maybe 30 per week, so maybe 130 per month. Ouch. Anyway, to get those same shows for less than our cable price of $50/mo it would have to be $0.40/show. If we could train ourselves to only watch quality tv maybe $1 per show could be OK, but somehow I doubt it. And yes, it would have to be a-la-carte. Live streaming combines the worst of all: you need to be there at a specific time, and it includes ads. That would be a definite no.

  6. The only way this works is giving consumers that have already cut the cord exactly what they want, when they want at a price point that the content providers are never going to agree to.

    Granularity is the last ace in the hole that traditional content providers have to draw on and if they never play that card, there will come a time when it is too late to get any value for it. Wise up schmucks, the clock is ticking.

  7. Meet the new model, same as the old model…..

    Consumers aren’t clamoring for cheaper bundles of linear feeds, they want on-demand content they are actually interested in for a fair price or free w/ ad support. I love the Daily Show but would never pay $.01 for an Internet bundle. They sell plenty of ads on their website, there’s the monetization. If they complain they can’t monetize the stream because they don’t get enough views or the CPM is too low I would suggest they quit trying to deny content access and get better sales people.

  8. DISH once again is off orbit – nothing between Blockbuster and now makes any sense. The whole proposition to the dopey cord cutters is to get ALL CONTENT FOR FREE. to think you are going to nickle and dime these skinflintsall month long is laughable…

  9. I’m already seeing online for free & last I checked it isn’t sending John & his boss Sumner to the poor house.

  10. Really need more detail for the poll, 3 shows is not a lot, and one airs annually.

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