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Future content producers. I see these cable exclusive deals as not dealing with the future. Scheduled podcasts and streaming will be the normal for new content producers. Maybe by 2020 you will have a potential profitable paying global audience of 500,000,000 households with truly usable high speed internet connections. If you capture 0.1% of that, 500,000 households, you might have a reasonable income stream to continue content production. A cost problem I see is in how you locate the servers you will use to provide reasonably responsive access to your content on a global scale.
A coworkers wife told him to eliminate the cable TV. She was the one dedicated to keeping it, not him. He wanted to cut the cord a year ago. She told him that she was sure she could find plenty of interesting content on the World Wide Web which would cost in total, each month, less than a third of the monthly cable TV bill. She did request moving to the top tier of speed for Cox Cable HSI. They should still be paying only 67% of what they previously did to Cox. Even die hard watchers of content from particular content producers are willing to go to the extreme of having to seek out new content producers. If she is doing it, I do not see how the present exclusives between cable companies and content producers can continue for much longer.
Companies may lock up content behind multiple toll booths, but if people are not willing to pay the very high tolls to watch, what income benefit or wealth do they really have? Is this really benefiting your shareholders?
I cannot watch the movie Airport, or any sequels, on Netflix or HULU. You have to be kidding if you think that is a long term profitable way to manage movie availability.
Santa Monica, CA
The content owners will determine the distribution methods of the future, unless there is regulation requiring them to make their wares available on some form of wholesale / most-favored-nation pricing scheme. (Sorry to disappoint, I'm not calling for said regulations.)
HBO, Universal, et al, are not interested in your version of the future. Big business is looking to maintain and enhance existing revenue streams - obtained at $15/month ($5+ net) through fixed contracts. They understand predictable rents, not many-to-many relationships.
They are not, I repeat not, as yet interested in doing direct-to-consumer stream sales. The middle- and last-mile and the technology are simply not ready for prime time, and the network-neutrality nonsense only makes it worse, since they can't buy assured delivery.
Yes, there are instances where streaming-based direct sales would work - but not for the majority of the market. No one is going to break from the middle.