Big media companies paving the way for cord-cutters

“Companies like Aereo have media companies in a tizzy because they make it easier for viewers to watch what they want without cable,” Dorothy Pomerantz reports for Forbes. “At one point earlier this year, two major networks threatened to go off the air because of the service. ”

“Cable and content companies seem terrified that the status quo could soon disappear as more people move to cut the cable cord and younger people become customers who never had a cord in the first place,” Pomerantz reports. “But it turns out at that at the same time, they are quietly making plans to thrive in such a world. At this week’s UBS UBS 0% Global Media Conference, both Viacom and Disney said they were preparing to make deals with virtual MVPDs.”

“Don’t get hung up on the wonky jargon there. A virtual MVPD (multi-channel video programming distributor) is essentially a cable or satellite company,” Pomerantz reports. “A virtual one is a company that offers the same kind of service but online. So imagine if instead of paying Time Warner Cable for your cable, you paid the company to access its service over the Internet.”

Muchd more in the full article here.


    1. Same here, but it’s been a lot longer for me. If they’d just sell me what I want instead of these stupid bundles, I’d still be their customer.

      They should have learned a lesson from iTunes, but noooooo.


    1. Exactly! If I wanted to get past 6 Mbps ADSL, I only had a few choices…Comcast cable, AT&T Uverse, or satellite. And satellite isn’t much of a competitor. So that left me to choose the lesser of evils between two big companies who both have a history of screwing over their customers and personally pissing me off. Some choice.

      We need to split off the data pipes from the content providers and distributors. Then we can consume content as we choose, not as dictated by these companies. If Apple ever rolls out a high-speed wireless network, I am signing up at the earliest opportunity.

          1. Oh yeah,
            Like we want the Government involved in our internet access. Wasn’t the Obamacare web site enough proof that we don’t want the US Government having anything to do with our computer access?

            Cable companies might be horrible, but that’s due to a monopoly (i.e., lack of competition). Giving the Government the monopoly would be far worse.

            1. I do believe you missed the point which I read as meaning, thanks to our dysfunctional ass hats in Washington, we are not likely to see blinding internet speeds without said ass hats needing their cut which makes it a non starter. America kicks the rest of the worlds ass when it comes to greed. Did I just read you can get gigabit speed for a price as long as you allow the provider authority to watch your surfing habits? Great idea. Please sign me up because I’m as dumb as the fuktards that decided it was a great idea. Hell, I so damn stupid I could serve in congress. Back to me scotch.

          2. No, the capitalists are stopping America because they make plenty of money with the status quo. Local governments have tried to deploy fiber to the home and spent years in court fighting the Time Warners and Comcasts. Alternatively, Google and AT&T have deployed it privately, but they want to read your mail and track your activities in return for access.

            That the nation needs to recognize the information superhighway is like any highway, part of the infrastructure and not a bunch of privately owned toll roads seems to escape our leaders.

            1. There’s nothing wrong with privately owned toll roads, as long as they’re not granted a monopoly by the government. Comcast is still benefitting from the monopolies it got decades ago. That’s why they suck and they don’t care.


  1. So if TV goes the way of the buffalo and it’s all internet based with less (or ability to skip) commercials, how do the content companies and studios make money? Their revenue streams are commercials and retransmission fees which would be gone if everything went Internet. At least that’s how I understand it.

    1. Time for those that can, do. And for those that can’t, get the hell out of the way. Innovate or go home. The subscription model is no longer a big secret. Make it a good value and they will come. Keep up the same lame crap and they will drop like flies.

    2. I seems the internet model for video distribution is in many ways worse than the overpriced cable model. Internet feeds, in general:

      1) force one to register (resulting in several registrations if one wants to view content from different channels)
      2) includes ads, most of which are no more “targeted” than broadcast ads despite all the supposed efforts thereof.
      3) inherently supports data-mining of users content without the end user being notified specifically what/how/when/where his data will be gathered and used.
      4) Most internet feeds are actually at inferior resolution to terrestrial HD broadcasts, with horrible compressed audio. Cable quality depends where you are, but is almost always below true 1080p high definition as well.
      5) Uses a wide variety of crappy CODECs to compress and stream the video — it’s not as though the world has made any progress on agreed on a unified internet standard for audio or video.
      6) Incomplete content. Precious little in live sports, or up-to-the-minute video news. (Tweets are not video news).

      Long story short, internet video services can offer some very nice advantages in specific areas, but have done nothing to prevent continued cable/satellite company price gouging. Besides, for most people, the same company controls both your television and your internet, so the pipeline operator can and will throttle you one way or another.

  2. That article had interesting info, but overall it was a confusing mishmash. A few points:

    — Aereo has nothing to do with “cable-cutting”, as the programming it offers is what’s available over the air.
    — Services like Watch ESPN have nothing to do with “virtual MVPDs”. In this case the provider requires the viewer to have cable, but the distribution bypasses the cable company altogether. If you subscribe to cable that offers Watch ESPN, you can use the service even if you’re not getting your internet from the cable. In other words, you’re getting your video straight from the source, not from a distributor.
    — Time Warner’s internet video service, available on the web, iOS, Roku, and soon Apple TV, is almost what they’re talking about, I think. This would become a “virtual” MVPD if Time Warner sold it without requiring you to sign up for cable,


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