The coming demise of Cable TV channels

Though Verizon is often associated with its phone networks, the company has been busy building up and promoting its advanced FiOS infrastructure. This high bandwidth service provides one of the most advanced packages of high definition television, high-speed Internet and phone service for customers in areas where it is available. For example, FiOS Internet download speeds currently max out at 50 megabits per second, compare that to traditional cable company speeds which are often 1/10th of that or less.

So, you’ve just gotten FiOS at your house. You now have 50mbps coming into your home. So, you set your TiVo to record from your TV through cable the newest episode of ‘Lost’. Oh, and just this past weekend you also got a brand new 56″ LCD TV and hooked your FiOS into the set so you could launch a browser on your new LCD TV set. Cool. Now you can surf the web on your new LCD. So, you’ve recorded ‘Lost’ on the TiVo and went to bed. The next day you come home and are ready to watch the episode of ‘Lost’ you recorded on your TiVo the night before. You sit down in your living room, turn on your big screen TV and discover that your browser is still open and lo and behold there is last nights ‘Lost’ episode right there on Hulu (or iTunes ). And its free (with a few 30 sec. commercials running ). So, you click play and sit and watch ‘Lost’ with online commercials (about a total of 8 mins of commercials as opposed to 22 mins on standard TV).

Then it hits you. Since your TV viewing habits are time-shifted anyway with TiVo, and now that you have FiOS and have a virtual TV, why should you pay for Cable? I’m mean, nearly all the cable networks and Broadcast nets are beginning to re-broadcast everything online. So why pay for Cable TV when you can view your favorite shows anytime by launching your browser on your big TV?

This merger of the TV and the internet will happen, but ONLY when the pipe into your home blurs the lines between TV and the web. Its happening today and most of us can’t see it yet, but we will. And this will be an issue for cable companies who down the road will be nothing more than a pipe into our homes. The web will carry into our homes what cable TV carries today. Its just a matter of time.

The above scenario is a true one, my in-laws have this today in Florida through FiOS. cabletv.jpg

In trouble within 5 yrs and big trouble within 10. Its the pipe.

We estimate online viewing of full-episode Broadcast/Cable Network TV as a percentage of the traditional TV base was 9% in 2007 (6% in 2006), and we forecast 14% for 2008, 19% for 2009, and 23% for 2010. ABC & NBC were the Broadcast, and Viacom the Cable Network, 2007 online full-episode viewing leaders.

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