STREAMING SATURDAY: What will you stream in 2018?

I’m taking the reins from Buckler again since he put all his brain cells into writing a year in review piece. Last time I saw him he was in the back of the blog offices breathing into a paper bag. I think if I asked him to write Streaming Saturday, he might have to file a disability claim.

What should you expect from streaming in 2018? After all, you got a real smorgasbord of content in 2017, with the highest quality original programming that’s even been seen in streaming, plus more ways to watch than ever. You got 4K, you got offline viewing, you got Klingon boobs. How could you possibly top any of that?

When I look at 2018, I see one breakout star: live streaming. Oh, it’s been there for a while now. After all, you can Sling TV, you can DIRECTV NOW, and if you’re into those also-rans, you can Hulu Live, YouTube, or whatever floats your boat. But maybe you didn’t jump in because you thought maybe it wasn’t the right time or you were afraid of giving up features or channels. In 2018, prepare to be fearless. Live streaming is here, it’s clear, get used to it.

Live National Channels — it’s a done deal
If you’re shooting for the best live national channels, you don’t need to worry anymore. If you subscribe to Sling TV or DIRECTV NOW you’ll get access to the top ones: HGTV, Discovery, ESPN and more. It’s a given — these channels have been available for live streaming for over a year. If you want live premium channels, you can get them too — check out HBO, Showtime, and others and when you’re done watching live, browse the star-packed on-demand selection. Go ahead, binge Game of Thrones again. I’l wait. Point is, you don’t have to worry about not getting national channels with a live streaming package. We’re already there.

Every local channel you could imagine.
Here’s where it gets futuristic. What if you could get every local channel you currently get with cable or satellite, plus all the ones you don’t get, and get them from anywhere? It’s coming, and you’re going to love it. New products just over the horizon will let you watch local TV on your phone, tablet, or streaming device as easily as you watch national channels now. I mean easy, you won’t even have to switch apps to do it. It’s just going to be one big, smart package and you’ll get all the networks, all the subchannels, everything. This is going to be a gamechanger for streaming. All you’ll need is a small piece of hardware and an antenna from Solid Signal. Stay tuned to the Solid Signal Blog for more information in the coming weeks.

Did I say sports?
So, conventional wisdom says that cordcutters don’t care about sports. Maybe that’s true, but there is a whole universe of sports fans who don’t stream yet and would like to have the ability to take the game with them. Major League Baseball’s MLB.TV streaming package broke new ground and DIRECTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket brought live streaming to satellite fans, but that’s all just chapter one. It’s beginning to look like Thursday Night Football, once exclusive to NBC, could go streaming-only in the fall. Talk about your gamechanger. All of a sudden, a generation of fans will want to stream, even if they don’t know their Netflix from their Netscape. It will be the final proof that everyone, and I mean everyone will be live streaming in 2018.

And maybe, just maybe…
Maybe those bozos at CBS will “get it.” For $7 a month you deserve more content than just Star Trek. Not only that, you deserve your Trek episodes to be a whole lot longer than 41 minutes. CBS says they will have more original content in ’18, and of all the broadcast networks, they’re the best positioned to introduce a live streaming network in 2018. They could be the ones to finally break the traditional network affiliate system and put a lot of their content online, live, at the same time it airs — perhaps even earlier for folks on the West Coast. I’ll call this one unlikely, but I can hope, right?

Heck, maybe I can even hope that Buckler could get off the bench and write an article for this Saturday. Naaaah, that one isn’t gonna happen.