Future of “TV”
I am not sold that there are enough people who want to dump cable.
Well, of course not. At this moment, there is no straightforward alternative; that’s what this discussion is all about. Right now, I watch network shows on their websites, on Netflix or on Hulu. I can’t imagine spending $120/month on any alternative viewing model, unless all I watched was HBO, Showtime, et all. There is still a lot of worthy television to be seen on “the networks” and many of the non-premium cable providers.
What’s needed is for someone (Apple?) to bring that all together in a single fee-based package.
“A body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion until pushed out of bounds by the Strong Safety.” ~ Issac Newton’s First Law of Physics
The television business in the United States is not going to change radically anytime in the near future.
HBO is part of Time Warner?s ?Networks? segment, which also includes Turner Broadcasting. This business generated $3.6 billion in revenue in Q1 ? half of the whole company. And its $1.2 billion in Q1 operating income represented 89% of Time Warner?s total. Most of that money comes from subscription fees and advertising viewed by cable and satellite customers. Time Warner is not going to jeopardize that because some people on the Internet think it should.
Even if HBO wanted to offer direct-to-consumer subscriptions, there isn?t currently a payments and TV distribution service to build on top of, that?s popular and easy enough, with the right economics for content owners. Roku? Boxee? iOS + AirPlay? Samsung Smart TV? Xbox? Please. Compared to cable, these platforms are less popular, often harder to use, more fragmented, and have complicated or unfavorable billing systems. Maybe this will change as Apple, Microsoft, and Google go deeper into the living room. But right now, cable is still the safest bet.
Replace “HBO” with any of the major sports television contracts and you’ll get the same results.