HUGE Viacom "cut the cord" news: Its networks' content poised to go online, consumers to benefit

SpongeBob just got so damned tired of crying (see above) that he decided to do something about it, and if you don't think the current distress suffered by CBS didn't have something to do with it I have not just the Brooklyn Bridge to sell you but every span into and out of every major city to boot!

The deal they're striking, and they are first among the big players, will put the content from their many networks on an online service from Sony and Intel that I imagine will look and operate somewhat like Hulu or Netflix Instant.

Joe Flint in the LA Times:
Sony and Intel, which is launching its own over-the-top service, have been meeting with programmers for several months hoping to persuade them to take the plunge.

Programmers have been wary of committing to an over-the-top provider because it could alienate their biggest business partners — the satellite and cable companies that reach most American homes. This is why a Sony or Intel would likely have to pay a premium to get access to content for their services.
This is how Viacom and CBS work. They are both wholly owned subsidiaries of National Amusements, a company that started its history as Northeast Theatre Corporation, a company your intrepid blogger once worked for back in the day.

Redstone, Moonves, Dauman
(My job for National Amusements, believe it or not, was a weekend gig at the Sunrise Drive-In Theatre in Valley Stream, NY. They had a flea market (swap meet for you West Coasters) on the weekends and I sold these big greasy hot dogs and sodas. My paycheck was signed -- actually I think it was a rubber stamp -- by Sumner Redstone.)

Redstone and his daughter own all the stock and control both companies, and traditionally he has pitted the CBS and Viacom chiefs (Les Moonves and Philipp Dauman in a fight to the death to be more profitable. It's a huge rivalry between the two.

Dauman, seeing the trouble Moonves is in right now and having this trouble for his own just recently with Time Warner Cable, is poised now to piss off a lot of cable companies but also take the bull by the horns.The next time there's a carriage war with Viacom stations I'm sure negotiations will highlight this impending method of getting some of television's most popular content online.

It will be very interesting to see how other content providers and cable's major system operators Time Warner, Comcast, Cox, etc. react to this news as the deal is signed and in the days ahead. It's a solid win for consumers, though, and for those of you without CBS it might even motivate those players to hurry up and settle.

In the meantime there are plenty of Viacom shows on Hulu and on Amazon Prime. I imagine those deals would be pulled in should this deal get finalized.

This is nothing but good news for consumers. There needs to be more avenues by which programming comes into our homes for prices to come down. We're on our way.

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