Cable Companies Seek to Limit Online Content - HotHardware
Cable Companies Seek to Limit Online Content

Cable Companies Seek to Limit Online Content

As it stands today, there are quite a few television shows available online for free via Hulu and broadcast websites, provided you’re willing to sit through a few ads. The cable companies are losing out on customers because of this content, so now they’re looking for a way to strong-arm customers into paying for cable. Their solution? To offer large numbers of cable shows online, but make that content only accessible to cable subscribers.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Comcast and Time Warner Cable are looking into ways to give cable subscribers online access to many major cable-TV networks’ programming. The discussions with major cable-TV networks include network owners Viacom, Time Warner, and General Electric's NBC Universal, as well as others. The operators are obviously hoping the Web services will attract new subscribers by offering previously unavailable video. In addition to attracting new subscribers, the operators also stand to gain an advantage over satellite and phone rivals with this Web content.

Given that U.S. cable, satellite, and telecom operators paid cable-network owners about $22.5 billion in subscription fees in 2008, there’s definite incentive for cable networks and operators to preserve the cable-TV business model as we know it today. Those fees are also the reason cable operators have placed limits on the amount of free content networks can put online.

People familiar with the situation said the proposed Web services would likely be in a streaming format with ads. The content would be accessible at home and away without any additional charges to cable TV subscribers.

There’s a good amount of support from the big guys on this: Brian Roberts, chief executive of Comcast, said, "Online video is our friend, not our enemy;" NBC Universal is "intrigued" by the idea and participating in a test; and Viacom's MTV Networks is calling the concept "a great testing ground.”

There’s no doubt this move is an attempt to keep money in the operator’s pockets. Let’s hope consumers don’t get the short end of the deal on this one. 

0
+ -

Yes, if they open a new income stream, then switch to by channel service it will be good. I would love to subscribe to cable where I could get only the channels and services I wanted. That would be much better than the current bundling model customers have to deal with.

Plus you wouldn't have to have 550 channels of crap you never watch and 30 channels you do want at $0.50-$0.75 cents each for the channels you want. Then a internet connection through your fast refresh 40" HDTV and netflix etc for movie downloads. It would seem to me to be better for both customer and as a business model.

0
+ -

rapid1:

Yes, if they open a new income stream, then switch to by channel service it will be good. I would love to subscribe to cable where I could get only the channels and services I wanted. That would be much better than the current bundling model customers have to deal with.

Plus you wouldn't have to have 550 channels of crap you never watch and 30 channels you do want at $0.50-$0.75 cents each for the channels you want. Then a internet connection through your fast refresh 40" HDTV and netflix etc for movie downloads. It would seem to me to be better for both customer and as a business model.

Yeah I honestly dont watch TV, but when I do I only scan about 5 channels.

0
+ -

Craptastic can bite me since they started their BS 250G limit. Instead of making a better system, they will squeeze the life blood from whatever is there. It is only a matter of time before they want to be bailed out too. TV in general blows with all of 5-10 channels that have meaningful content to them.

Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: