Today, Dish announced Sling TV, a new web tv service (read: no cable contract required) that’ll cost you $20 a month to watch a handful of networks you don’t care about and one, ESPN, that you do.But Dish isn’t the story here. The story is Disney, the company that owns ESPN and is shaping the future of c o n t e n t in a way that’s more accessible, and more human-friendly, than we ever could have hoped for.The problem with cutting the cord has always been that you’re also cutting yourself off from the shows you really want. A disappointing number of popular networks are owned by the cable companies themselves, and more profitably sold when bundled with the less popular channels that pollute your cable lineup today.There’s just too much money in making your life more expensive—and less convenient.That seemed to hold true for ESPN, too, which commands a substantial tithe—as much as $6 per month per user, per Recode—for Disney from the cable companies. From a profitability standpoint, the system wasn’t broken, so why try to fix it?And yet! By setting ESPN free, that’s exactly what Disney has done. It’s used its considerable mouse clout to shake off entrenched interests and get its content to its fans wherever they might be. It’s no sacrifice; it’s a long game. If you can see the world changing around you, you might as well do what you can to shape it in your interests. And Disney’s interests, in this case, are your eyeballs.
via Disney’s the Best Thing That Ever Happened to the Future of TV.