The Other Reason the TV Guys Are Moving to the Web

Adding an “over the top” service — one that uses a Web connection instead of a cable box — gives TV networks more buyers, which gives them more leverage. And they’ll try to use that leverage to get concessions from pay TV distributors, so the networks can improve their existing businesses, even as they build out new ones. Some of the TV networks that are heading to the Web will even say this out loud. “Just the threat of going [over the top] gives us added leverage” HBO CEO Richard Plepler said on Wednesday, at the investors conference where he announced his plans to sell HBO on the Web. […] You can look at ESPN’s plan to sell its programming on a low-cost Web service from Dish Network in the same light. Like HBO, ESPN believes it can use the Web to acquire customers — mostly millennials — who don’t have pay TV. – Peter Kafka,Re/code
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