Showbiz Sandbox 254: Are HBO and CBS Really Really Becoming Cord-Cutters?

The entertainment industry was stunned last week when Time Warner announced plans for HBO to go over the top. The premium cable channel intends to offer a standalone service in the US come 2015 that won’t require a cable subscription. Legions of cord-cutters rejoiced upon learning the news, but what they weren’t actually hearing about were the details of how the new plan would work.

Just a day later the broadcast network CBS offered a bit more information about their upcoming Access All In streaming service. The network will begin offering their programming directly to viewers via the web and mobile apps at a cost of $6 per month.

Both of these landmark moves are being seen as bellwethers for how television will be distributed in the future and they come with all sorts of ramifications. Will selecting television channels a la carte actually increase our cable bills? What do all these new services mean for net neutrality? What does all of this mean for Netflix? We’ll explain.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Amazon’s deal with Simon & Schuster, Neil Patrick Harris gets tapped to host next year’s Oscars and why pop-star Lorde is persona non grata in San Francisco.

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Global Box Office: Middle East Embrace of Gone Girl Helps Keep It On Top
http://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2014/oct/22/global-box-office-gone-girl-fury-teenage-mutant

HBO Says It’s Going to Start Selling on the Web Next Year
http://recode.net/2014/10/15/hbo-says-its-going-to-start-selling-on-the-web-next-year/

HBO Has Embraced Netflix’s Business Model, But Not Its Net Neutrality Politics
http://qz.com/281685/hbo-has-embraced-netflixs-business-model-but-not-its-net-neutrality-politics/

Time Warner Investor Day: Five Things To Watch
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-time-warner-investor-day-warner-bros-hbo-20141014-story.html

Netflix Shares Plunge as Growth Disappoints
http://online.wsj.com/articles/netflix-reports-disappointing-number-of-new-subscribers-1413403954

Cord-Cutters Rejoice: CBS Joins Web Stream
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/17/business/cbs-to-offer-web-subscription-service.html?_r=0

Warner Bros. Will Cut Costs by $200 Million Annually, CEO Says
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/warner-bros-will-cut-costs-by-200-million-annually-ceo-says-1201330536/

Neil Patrick Harris to Host the Oscars
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/neil-patrick-harris-to-host-the-oscars-exclusive-1201312943/

Steve McQueen Drama Lands HBO Pilot Order, Casts Its Star
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/steve-mcqueen-drama-lands-hbo-740712

Average Movie Ticket Prices Drop to $8.08
http://variety.com/2014/film/news/average-movie-ticket-prices-drop-to-8-08-1201332750/

‘Twin Peaks’ Co-Creator to Reveal Characters’ Fates Over Last 25 Years in New Book
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/twin-peaks-creator-reveal-characters-741319

Nielsen Goof Fixed; NBC’s Brian Williams Remains News Champ
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-nielsen-goof-nbcs-brian-williams-retains-crown-20141014-story.html

Lorde’s Royals Banned In San Francisco Ahead of World Series
http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/lordes-royals-banned-in-san-francisco-ahead-of-world-series-20141020

Amazon Strikes Deal With Simon & Schuster
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/amazon-strikes-deal-with-simon-schuster/

S&S, Amazon Agree on ‘Version’ of Agency Pricing
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/industry-deals/article/64461-s-s-amazon-agree-on-version-of-agency-pricing.html

Amazon’s Monopsony Is Not O.K.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/opinion/paul-krugman-amazons-monopsony-is-not-ok.html

Misty Upham Confirmed Dead: Meryl Streep and Melissa Leo Express Grief
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/misty-upham-confirmed-dead-family-741573

Oscar de la Renta, Who Clothed Stars and Became One, Dies at 82
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/21/nyregion/oscar-de-la-renta-fashion-designer-dies-at-82.html

Alain Siritzky, Producer of the ‘Emmanuelle’ Films, Dies at 72
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/alain-siritzky-dead-emmanuelle-producer-740736

Elizabeth Peña Dies at 55; Actress In ‘The Incredibles,’ ‘La Bamba’
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-elizabeth-pena-dies-20141015-story.html

  • mgiltz

    HBO will be available as a stand-alone without having to buy cable! Huzzah! Now how many people don’t have cable but do want to pay $10 or $15 a month just for HBO, rather than simply waiting for the DVDs or heading to a friend’s house to binge watch once a season is over like I do? They’ll add some people but I think most everyone who wants HBO already has it. And people planning to end cable will discover there are a LOT of channels they watch, like ESPN, AMC, fx, TCM, CNN and on and on and on….