The transition from cable to Internet for television is strong and quick. On the heals of HBO and CBS, premium channel Starz is pondering offering a cable-free streaming option. Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said on an earnings call,
While you will hear more from us on this over time, I can tell you now that we have the content right (and) the technology platform and infrastructure in place to ensure that the Starz businesses are positioned to capitalize on these new opportunities, both here in the U.S. and abroad.
One of the major hurdles for these companies in creating standalone streaming services is having the rights to offer their content to non-cable subscribers. For example, NBC does not own the streaming rights to Saturday Night Live, and they lost the show to Yahoo!. In Albrecht's comments he mentions that they have the rights to pull this off.
He also says that they have the ability to release this, with content, outside of the US. That will make international viewers happy, as securing these rights is usually difficult for multiple countries. Either Starz has been preparing for this in their contracts for years, or they have really focused down recently and renegotiated their licensing deals over the past few months to allow this to happen. Either way, this is even more reason for Hungarians to be excited about their win.
So, with all of the standalone streaming services launching there are two important questions to ask: is there enough content available for you to dump your cable subscription and which services will you be using to supplement that content? Let us know in the comments.