Here’s some (at least semi-plausible) future fiction on where the pay TV industry, including TiVo, may be heading in the coming years. Hope you find it entertaining. Please feel free to respond with your own thoughts and questions. Note: I will original post additional predictions for future years, all the way through 2024, in the coming days, so please scroll down for the rest of the story! OK, buckle up, here we go… 3Q 2019: Verizon begins selling YouTube TV to their FiOS and Wireless customers Following through on an announcement made in April, Verizon begins selling the YouTube TV streaming cable TV service to their own FiOS broadband and Verizon Wireless cellular customers. The marketing and backing that Verizon gives the service encourages many of their FiOS broadband customers to switch from FiOS TV to YouTube TV, seeing significant savings on their monthly bill, along with better HD picture quality. Although they charge the standard $50/mo price for YouTube TV, Verizon offers unified billing plus enhanced technical support for YouTube TV for their customers, with the first month of service free. 3Q 2019: Apple TV+ debuts In Sept., Apple launches their new Apple TV+ SVOD to great fanfare. They announce that the new service will focus on quality over quantity, featuring the best storytellers, directors, actors and cinematographers, with all series, films and docs produced in 4K with Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos sound, all 100% ad-free, with no paid product placement. All viewership data that Apple collects will be anonymized and never sold or shared with other companies. The service only features Apple’s own original content, with new titles premiering each month. Apple TV+ will be free for its first year to all owners of an Apple iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple TV device that supports the new Apple TV app. Those customers can link a free Apple TV+ subscription to their Apple accounts inside the TV app on those devices. After activation, they can also view the service in the Apple TV app on non-Apple devices too, such as Android phones, Rokus, Fire TVs, and smart TVs. These free accounts only allow one stream at a time. Others can subscribe to Apple TV+ at its regular monthly price of $7, or add it to an Apple Music account for an extra $4. These paid accounts are allowed two simultaneous Apple TV+ streams. 3Q 2019: AT&T sells their four Regional Sports Networks to Sinclair AT&T eases its huge debt burden a bit by unloading their 4 RSNs to Sinclair for around $1 billion. This makes Sinclair, already the largest owner of local broadcast stations in the country, also the undisputed king of RSNs, having earlier in the year purchased 21 RSNs from Disney (formerly owned by Fox), plus major stakes in the NY Yankees RSN, YES Network, and a future Chicago Cubs RSN to be named Marquee Sports Network. 3Q-4Q 2019: CBS scales up CBS remerges with Viacom to form a significantly larger media powerhouse. But with a combined market cap of only around $33 billion, still far smaller than Disney ($254 bn), AT&T/WarnerMedia ($250 bn) or Comcast/NBCU (over $193 bn), and around the same size as Sony Pictures, CBS is still a middleweight, not heavyweight, fighter. CBS follows up soon after with acquisitions of Lionsgate (owner of Starz, plus a film and TV studio) and AMC Networks, bringing their overall market cap up to about $40 billion. 4Q 2019: AT&T TV launches nationwide AT&T TV is the company’s new flagship premium streaming cable TV service, taking the company’s marketing focus away from DirecTV satellite, Uverse TV, DirecTV Now, and AT&T Watch TV. After a soft launch in limited markets in August, the service becomes available nationwide in 4Q, over any internet connection, although AT&T particularly aims to bundle it with their own home broadband and wireless phone services. (AT&T home broadband customers’ data caps are waived if they add AT&T TV to their account.) The service is offered with AT&T’s own customized Android TV streaming box with full-featured remote (including channel up/down and 0-9 buttons!) to provide a traditional cable TV user experience, although it can also be accessed through the AT&T TV app on popular TV-connected devices (e.g. Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV) as well as mobile devices. AT&T TV blurs the distinction between operator-provided traditional cable TV services (e.g. Charter Spectrum TV) and skinny bundle OTT streaming cable TV services (e.g. YouTube TV) because it contains aspects of both while not being completely like either. All AT&T TV channel packages include virtually all of the networks owned by AT&T/WarnerMedia, including HBO, as part of the base price. It’s also the only OTT cable TV service to include nearly all the popular and niche cable channels, from every major network group including Viacom, A+E Networks and Discovery, making it a full substitute for traditional cable and satellite TV. The service includes nearly all of the major network-affiliated HD local stations across the nation’s top 150 markets and is the first OTT cable TV service to also include PBS and C-SPAN. 4Q 2019: NBCU acquires Crown Media, owner of Hallmark networks Comcast/NBCU announces their wholesale acquisition of Crown Media (a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc.), owner of the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama cable networks, as well as the Hallmark Movies Now OTT SVOD, including all those services’ content properties. Terms of the deal with the privately held Hallmark Cards, Inc. are not publicly disclosed.