It's all about control The cold hard fact about Internet TV is this: Major programmers see no reason to have it succeed. They have their distribution channels already. Why move their product to the Internet in a big way? Doing that will only increase interest in this medium by the average Joe, and they already have that demographic locked up. The problem is that, if they move those folks over to Internet viewing, those people might figure out that there is other content to be found. Right now, cable and sat services are walled gardens where no alternative programmers can get access. But the Internet is different, which is why the big programmers would just as soon stay away from it as much as they possibly can.
That's sort of the same approach that the big phone companies took with VoIP - first try to ignore it, then paint it as unreliable and inferior. But more and more people are discovering the truth, that there is a lot of great content out there and much of it (especially the newer stuff) looks even better when played on a large screen.
I'm just waiting for the commercials and press releases that tell us how much better broadcast and/or cable is vs. video from the Internet (which would be extremely counterproductive, but large corporations never cease to do stupid things).
reply to ISurfTooMuch
Right on the nose. In fact, as the programmers have begun to see how online distribution threatens the cash cow that is subscriber fees paid by traditional distributors (cable, telco, satellite), they are slowing down or back pedaling. Hulu will evolve in the way Comcast and its NBC content creator partners want it, not how consumers looking for online video content want it. Content is expensive to create. If it's not ads, it's fees (or both in most cases) and then DVD sales and online rentals way down the line.
And as stated elsewhere in the comments, the ISP sides of these content distributors will eventually collect the toll on the metered billing side to make up for lost video subscription revenue. C'est la vie.