The business world sure moves quickly. Less than a day after HBO told the world that they were to roll out a digital subscription service for their programming, rival network CBS made a similar announcement on Thursday for a ‘CBS All Access’ service independent of cable.

CBS programming, such as the recently ended 'How I Met Your Mother', may be available digitally

CBS stated that, for $5.99 a month, subscribers will get access to fifteen primetime shows the day after they are shown on broadcast and cable television. In some of their bigger markets – i.e., the big cities – they will also get access to live streaming of that content.

In such industries, when one business makes a pricing move or revolution, the rest of its rivals will soon follow so that they don’t get left behind. These two announcements will cause many to question the value of maintaining expensive cable subscriptions, where viewers will pay in the region of $10-$20 per month to add a network to a subscription bundle.

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However, CBS announcement notably excludes its showings of NFL games, which draw enormous audiences. The network currently has a contract for showing Thursday night games. This is believed to be one of the key reasons that so many have maintained, and will continue to maintain, their cable subscriptions even during the recession. So maybe we shouldn't start reading the last rites for cable just yet.

Leslie Moonves, CBS Corporation’s President and CEO, said in the announcement: “CBS All Access is another key step in the Company’s long-standing strategy of monetizing our local and national content in the ways that viewers want it. This new subscription service will deliver the most of CBS to our biggest fans while being additive to the overall ecosystem. Across the board, we continue to capitalize on technological advances that help consumers engage with our world-class programming, and we look forward to serving our viewers in this new and exciting way.”

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