7 thoughts on “A Small Exploding TV Reality Check”

  1. On the other hand, I only watch 4-8 hours of TV a week and have to pay $50 a month for digital cable. I do have a Tivo and it would be nice to download / pull the shows that I watch regulary. Paying $8 a month would be great.

  2. Zak you have point, however if you watched 8 hours of TV every week or 32 hours every month you be spending $32 at the very least. or lower … depends. You know the shows you want etc, are also subsidized by advertising (which i know you don’t watch ;-) ] this is an economics problem and not a technology problem. the business model is just not there. oh well..

  3. Broadband costs will go down soon. In Paris you can get a 8 megabits for as little as 15 euro ($20). Content cost for VoD will go down once they have found a way to get advertisement in it.

  4. Om: You make a few assumptions I don’t make:
    – I do not assume that cable and broadcast go away but that they find themselves faced with new pressure from very cheap and plentiful programming distributed by new means; that is what makes the economics of TV start to fizzle and explode… that and the added choice and control consumers get, which is explosive itself.
    – I do not assume that all this TV is necessarily of full broadcast quality yet. Some of it will be streamed online; some of it will be seen on mobile devices; some of it will then be of a quality somewhere between broadcast and satphone (which, of course, is a wide gulf, indeed).
    – I do not assume that much of this is live. Thus, it can be distributed via BitTorrent or the equivalent in the background and can be distributed via shared downstream bandwidth.
    The REAL point is that once there is a viable alternative network in the distributed network of the internet — the network no one owns — then the economic advantage — no, stranglehold — that one holds by owning the means of distribution is eroded. Now a programmer can go to Comcast or directly to the consumer. That is what is explosive. It changes the essence of this deal-driven industry and makes it consumer-driven.
    Note how a few years ago, no programmer would have DARED put any programming on the internet; their MSO deals forbade it. Now they are recognizing — with great fear — the competition of programming via the internet and they are running to stake territory there. But their programming is still expensive; their MSO deals are still strangling; their talent deals are still restrictive.
    This won’t come with a new Sopranos or with the NFL. It will come with niche programming: Compare the X-hundred-K dollars it takes to produce, say, Trading Spaces, and the deals it takes to get it distributed with the new model: X-hundred-OR-thousand dollars to produce the show; distribution via the network no one owns; marketing via viral blogs and metadata; an extremely small nut that can be made profitable by small advertising. That will create tremendous competitive pressure.
    That is the explosion.
    Broadcast and cable networks will exist just as newspapers exist post internet. But newspapers have lost incredible revenue to Craigslist, changing the very economics of the industry. That is explosive.

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