Two years ago, I wrote a piece questioning whether people who cut the cord and only get TV entertainment from streaming services are really spending less than when they had a cable package. I thought about that again recently when I heard of the debut of yet another streamer, MGM+ (formerly known as the premium cable channel
Unfortunately, I think Americans have reached their limit on streamers. Once you have the core four — Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and Hulu — maybe you’re going to stretch your budget to add Apple TV+ and HBO Max. Then, who’s willing to pay for Paramount+ and Discovery+ and ESPN+ on top of that? I’ve been reading some good things about Natasha Lyonne’s new series, “Poker Face,” but it’s on Peacock, so I guess I’ll never see it.
The odd thing is last year, Amazon paid $8.5 billion to acquire the entire MGM studio, including its iconic library of movies and TV series. Why not merely fold that into the Prime Video service, making it even more valuable?
Viewers are not only faced with the financial quandary of which services to subscribe to, but who has the time to consume the glut of content available across multiple platforms?
I have only mentioned a small percentage of the services — take a look at this Wikipedia page and see how many you’ve even heard of, let alone how many you would be willing to spend ten bucks a month to access.
The difference maker may be live sports. Just as the NBA, NHL, and MLB moved off broadcast outlets to cable many years ago, and the tennis grand slams are now on ESPN, the NFL is making moves towards streaming, with the Thursday night package on Prime Video for the next dozen years and the new Sunday Ticket deal with YouTubeTV. Various professional soccer leagues have signed similar deals. Even poker has its own streaming platform, PokerGo, in addition to deals for World Series Of Poker coverage on cable sports channels that are desperate to fill what would otherwise be dead air time.
It’s that necessity that explains why I accidentally stumbled upon the Power Slap League the other night. No, it was not a Will Smith at the Oscars rerun. This televised brutality is nothing more than wannabe MMA morons standing an arm’s length apart and slapping each other’s faces as hard as they can. It doesn’t air in primetime like real sports, but rather shows up in slots that used to be filled by infomercials.
I’d never watch such idiocy unless the two concepts were combined. No matter how much you’re already paying for streaming services, what American wouldn’t pay a few extra dollars to see a half hour of Mike Lindell repeatedly being hit in the face?
And I don’t mean with one of his own pillows.