8 thoughts on “So what is behind all this talk of cable TV consolidation?”

  1. Good piece and once again Malone is onto something smart but he had better hurry up before Google Fiber starts to roll into more and more cities.


    Thanks to Om Malik and Stacey Higginbotham (and others whose names I cannot recall) for continually highlighting the pathetic and increasingly worsening plight of broadband in the US. Here are a few of the other great article you should read (all by Stacey Higginbotham, and I am sure Om has written some good ones too):




  3. I call the cable companies government approved anticompetitive monopolies. The cable companies have bought local, state and federal government officials.

  4. John Malone and the cable companies are beating a dead horse. They’re doing their best to stop competition but they’re toast and they know it. You can’t even think about 4k or quick downloads on HD programming on cable networks and they’re holding on by their fingernails to keep market share, and losing. Here comes iptv and 1gig symmetrical fiber networks and as they deploy, you’ll see the cable companies continue to die just like the dinosaurs.

    1. Where are you getting this? 4k requires around 8-10Mbps. Typical US cable network has around 4.6-4.7Gbps of capacity. That’s around 500 simultaneous streams. With around 125-150 customers (assuming 50% take rate) on a node, you’re looking at about 4 streams per home, using today’s technology and compression. Cable’s got lots of capacity.

  5. You write about the rationale for cable consolidation, but ignore the #1 (and #2, and #3, and #4) reason? Seriously?

    Cable operators are looking to consolidate to get more negotiating clout vs. the content providers (Disney, Fox, Time Warner, etc), who have been getting an ever-increasing share of the revenue pie, with the rates they charge to cable companies rising 7-8% a year (while the prices paid by consumers have been rising 3-4% a year).

  6. This play seems to be caught in a time warp. I presume Malone is well-aware that the content and transport business are splitting apart with TWC being apart from the larger TW business and Comcast shifting emphasis to content via NBCU.

    That leaves the business of fat pipes but there is no intrinsic value in the pipes so you can only create value if you are a rent-seeker and can manage scarcity. But how can you do that when there is the perfect commodity that isn’t even consumed? As I wrote in http://rmf.vc/NotSuper not only is there the problem of over capacity from redundancy pipes are the wrong metaphor. It’s as if a railroad presumes a truck convey must all stay within a single lane. Netflix can do wonders with only a megabit or two and the content is cached at the edge so how do you assure scarcity?

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