Zaslav: Sports-Free Skinny Bundles Will Come

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said the era of cheaper, sports-free skinny bundles is coming, but first, the U.S. has to wean itself of expensive and largely unwanted sports programming.

On Discovery’s earnings conference call Tuesday, Zaslav said that cheap monthly packages of programming, free of sports and containing most of the networks viewers want, similar to offerings in Europe, will eventually make their way to the U.S.

Zaslav lamented that current slimmed down offerings in the U.S. like DirecTV Now, Hulu Live and Sony PlayStation Vue aren’t true skinny bundles because they are laden with networks that are heavy with sports programming, which he called “a bit of a stuffed turkey.” Outside the U.S., sports-free skinny bundles are prevalent and Discovery networks are on most of them.

“I see the skinny bundle in 200 countries,” Zaslav said on the call. “There is no skinny bundle here. The skinny bundle in the U.S. is a fiction. The idea you have a $40 offering filled with regional sports, an incomplete package and then you have to buy broadband on top of it. In the end I think the market will be rationalized.”

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