Re: agree completely
"I am waiting for some of the usual cable channel providers to de-couple themselves from cable and allow direct subscriptions. "
Probably never going to happen. Cable channels that license content, only get a license for broadcast. They they sub-license the channel and content it to a cable system. Cable channels that make their own content (ex. HBO) are a bit trapped. They would like to direct steam to subscribers, but it kind of cuts the legs of their licensing to cable systems. So they do this weird thing, where you if you have HBO on a cable system, you can stream it direct from HBO too. What is going to happen, is new guys will have to start making their content, and direct stream it, as Netflix and Amazon are doing. As soon a significant percentage of available content is produced this way, the other content producers will have to go full on with a digital-first strategy. Basically, cable networks will have to die.
It is going to take a while to sort this out. Plus, a lot of license deals have to expire. Some of those licensing contracts can be renewed perpetually, as long as the licensee keeps paying (right of first refusal). In Canada, we have this weird issue where Bell Media has direct licenses for broadcast AND streaming for vast amounts of US TV content, but doesn't stream anything except to cable customers. They are basically paying yearly to to ensure the license doesn't fall to someone else, like Netflix. It isn't sustainable to pay to prevent people from watching stuff, that you can't fully monetize.