Starting Sunday, Verizon FiOS viewers will get more say in the channels they want, and the ones they don't, a move CBS News financial contributor Mellody Hobson said has been hastened by streaming networks.
"Netflix was a big reason for it, Hulu is a big reason for it; they started the whole thing, there's no question it's a reaction to that," Hobson said Friday on "CBS This Morning."
With FiOS Custom TV, customers will still need to subscribe to a basic package, but the move opens the door to an "a la carte" future. According to Nielsen, there are 189 channels in the average TV package, but viewers only watch on average 17 channels.
Hobson, who was recently named to this years' TIME 100 list of the world's most influential people, said those days "are over," but it won't necessarily be cheaper for consumers.
"Say if you unbundled ESPN on its own, it could be as much as $30 a month because of its popularity and how much they could charge there," Hobson said. "Even Verizon is not suggesting that it's cheaper because you'll have fewer channels and, per channel, they'll actually be more expensive when you really think about it."
Who loses in this situation? Hobson said, "those channels that have very niche audiences."
"Those will probably go away and you'll see the big channels really win," Hobson said. "The winner will be the consumer because they will get it the way they want it, but they'll pay for it."
Hobson, also a Starbucks Board of Directors member, commented on the recent "Race Together" campaign. She said while it didn't go as intended, it succeeded in sparking a national conversation.
When asked if she was surprised about the reaction, Hobson said, "Yes and no."
"No, in that I do believe that we have some racial issues in this country that are very, very serious and I've experienced them; yes, in that I thought this could be a moment. I still think we will take advantage of this conversation and keep going. We have to, as a country."