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Look Ma, No More Cable TV!

Finally consumers have choice – at least those that have the technical knowledge to take advantage. Want to get out of cable but still have cable channels plus broadcast TV? Your prescription is as follows:

AppleTV, iPhone or iPad, Aereo for $8.00 a month, Nimble TV for as little as $24.95 a month. No contracts, you can add a virtual DVD and then simply launch a browser on your phone or table, log-in and throw the signal through the Apple TV onto your TV. The combo of Aereo + Nimble will cost no more than $32.00 a month (unless you want more than channels than the minimum) and you’ve got TV. Cable TV channels and broadcast.

Aereo is on a roll, with plans now to bring its streaming TV service to Atlanta. The capital of Georgia is the third city to get the Aereo service, following New York and Boston.

There are really some other very cool non-cable broadcast channels coming out. I’d term them “off Broadway’ TV channels. Some call them online channels. But they are as good as some cable channel programming offerings and maybe some are even better.

YouTube’s rumored subscription-plan offering is now a reality. The video site is rolling out a pilot program that will allow “a small group of partners” to offer paid channels on YouTube, with subscription fees starting at $0.99 per month. Every channel has a 14-day free trial period, with many also offering discounted yearly rates. Some partners include:

The Jim Henson Company is launching an ad-free channel online with full episodes of Henson’s kids and preschool titles like Sid the Science Kid and Fraggle Rock. The channel will be available for $2.99/month or $24.99/year. The company is also launching a Spanish-language channel, which will be available for $1.99/month or $17.99/year.

Sesame Street will also offer full episodes on its paid channel when it launches.

National Geographic Kids’ channel will be available for $3.99/month or $29.99/year, offering long and short-form videos aimed at kids ages 6-12. It will include a mix of library and original content.

Acorn TV, a streaming service focusing on British classic TV programming, is also launching with a channel that’s available for $4.99/month.

B-movie film director Roger Corman will launch a paid channel this summer called Corman’s Drive-In. It will offer more than 400 feature films that have been produced or directed by Corman. These include Grand Theft Auto (Ron Howard’s directorial debut), The Cry Baby Killer (Jack Nicholson’s first film), and Fire on the Amazon (Sandra Bullock’s first film). The channel will also server as a potential distribution outlet for new films in production. We love Roger Corman!

The UFC’s channel will feature classic fights and full versions of older UFC pay-per-view events. It’s available for $5.99/month.

Then there’s Entertainment Studios, which has launched eight paid channels on YouTube, spanning a bunch of different verticals, from cars to comedy, pets, recipes, and entertainment news/pop culture. One of the eight channels, which is titled Smart TV offers “best of” programming from other seven networks for $9.99/month.

HuffPost Live will arrive on AXS TV, a network backed by Mark Cuban, CBS, Ryan Seacrest Media, AEG, and CAA. The interactive streaming news network will run for six hours a day, from 10 am to 4 pm.

Yahoo unveiled partnerships including a brilliant deal with NBC Entertainment and Broadway Video to become the exclusive US home to all Saturday Night Live archival content and a similar arrangement with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). This is especially key now that Seth Meyers is taking over Jay Leno – the repeats should garner some heavy online traffic that advertisers should eat up.

The Cheap Life with Jeff Yeager, an original how-to show on AARP’s YouTube channel, has topped 1 million video views. The show focuses on providing tips on spending smart and enjoying life at a fraction of the usual cost.

And finally there is the Jerry Seinfeld show Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The meaning of something, of course, is relative. The show features Seinfeld just cruising along with friends such as Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, Seinfeld co-star Michael Richards, Ricky Gervais, Alec Baldwin and Colin Quinn. That covers the comedians in cars; presumably, the getting coffe part will come a bit later. The show debuts on Crackle July 19th.

All in all I’d say online programming is growing up. The cable operators will soon take notice – more than likely too late.

About the Guest Blogger: William Sager is an idealab guy, Google plus idealab tester and mobile/cloud/content ninja. Since 2007 he has published a technology blog Serendipity¬†and is now a contributing writer for Medium. He is also a children’s author for kidstories.co that is published @ Amazon throughout Europe, Asia and the U.K.

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