Thursday, December 10, 2009

No More Cable Bills

Check out the article in today's New York Times by Nick Bilton. He and his wife weaned himself off a monthly cable bill by installing a mac mini, Xbox, and a wireless remote. With access to Boxee, Hulu, Netflix, and others, and the ability to watch free broadcast channels, as well as gaming, his entertainment is complete. Click below to access.

"Welcome to our living room. Take a seat, make yourself comfortable. Would you like to watch a movie, or the new “Family Guy” episode?"

U-verse TV Hits 2 Million Mark

Competition is fierce and the telco vs. cable battle lines will only get fiercer. As AT&T reaches 2 M cable customers and Verizon Fios heading toward 3 million, telco is taking a bigger and bigger chunk of the map. "As of the end of September, U-verse TV was available to about 15 million homes in 22 states. The U-verse fiber-to-the-node network currently passes more than 20 million homes." And because a telco gain tends to be a cable or satellite loss, every basic subscriber matters in the fight for dominance in the industry.

Telcos need cable subs to replace loss of phone and DSL customers. For cable, phone remains a win-win upgrade, as does hi speed connections. But if the base for cable declines, as recent quarter have indicated, eventually cable will have less customers to upsell phone and hi speed to. And so the marketing of these provider services, for telco, cable, and even satellite, should only get fiercer in 2010.

In addition, Comcast particularly has to be careful as it attempts to get its NBC Universal purchase approved by the FCC and FTC. Programming differentiation has played a big part. Sports is raising its ugly head today. Telco and satellite want access to the Comcast Sports Net and cable and telco want access to the NFL Sunday Ticket. At some point, programming differentiation will become a non-factor in marketing; rather, it will be about service and price. And hopefully, better pricing and service leads to a better customer experience.