Friday, May 29, 2009

The Future Is Cable Not Broadcast

More cuts at WNBC as its movie critic Jeffrey Lyons is following Len Berman out the door. In fact the focus is no longer news as their Live At 5 news program may be replaced with general entertainment, low cost programming. "Rumors are currently swirling at WNBC-4, NBC's flagship station in New York, that executives at NBC Universal are considering the creation of a daily 5 p.m. lifestyle show that could debut on affiliate stations around the country as early as the fall of 2009."

At some point, news will leave the broadcast air and be exclusively on cable, whether national with CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, or regional with News 12, NY1, and NBC Nonstop. Perhaps soon we will rely on the local High School to supply cable with a local news program too.

Broadcast is passe and cable is where the money is. Recently, Jeff Zucker has commented that they would be very interested in acquiring more cable networks. The future is cable and the web and that is how broadcasters will make up lost broadcast revenue dollars. Research shows that the next generation of TVs will have direct internet access. "Worldwide shipments of consumer-electronics devices capable of supporting Internet video are projected to rise by nearly a factor of five from 2009 to 2013, according to research firm iSuppli." If that is the case, cable companies as well as cable programmers should be concerned that subscriber revenue will fall as consumers stop buying cable to get programming on their TV. Will consumers accept broadband rates to double to offset that lost revenue; probably not likely. And that will lead to another quantum technological leap as another new distribution choice will likely emerge.

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