Mark Tomlinson

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Thursday, December 01, 2005


BuzzMachine: "For if a la carte pricing really comes into effect, it will kill off lots of channels that could not be supported in the open marketplace. That is, there aren’t enough people willing to support channels on their own and they survive only because they are subsidized via bundled pricing and cozy deals among the holders of content and distribution in cable. If they had to make it on advertising alone, they’d fail. If they had to make it on consumer fees alone, they’d fail. They simply don’t have the audience to support either. But cable companies make more by making us buy more TV and so they survive. That is the system Martin is threatening to break.

And when it does break, this will drive people to finding different, better, cheaper, easier means of getting the programs they want. And it will drive program owners to find more and more efficient ways to distribute their shows to larger audiences. Just as today, we no longer know the difference between broadcast and cable, soon enough we won’t know whether the shows we want to see come from a network or from the internet. And when we reach that world, we’ll no longer be hostage to network programmers’ schedules. And then we’ll have to ask: What is a network, anyway, and why do we need them?

The world of on-demand content is coming."

Brilliant analysis.