Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Another Reason For Cable Companies To Worry

Consumers aren't happy with their cable companies. This relationship is eerily reminiscent of the 1970's when consumers hated the phone company. Eventually it led to Ma Bell's break up and a more competitive telephone landscape. Consumers seem to dislike their cable company just as much. And younger consumers are leaving cable for alternatives.

Well UFC has given another reason to look beyond cable for programming. "Ultimate Fighting Championship announced a multiyear deal with Internet set-top maker Roku to feature all major UFC events, starting with UFC 114: Rampage vs. Evans on May 29.... Roku, whose Internet set-tops start at $80 for standard-definition and $100 for HD, also provides access to streaming-video services from Netflix, and Amazon Video On Demand."

Through broadband connections, content can flow from other providers. And competition can hopefully bring more competitive pricing. As Roku and others acquire more content, cable companies must realize that the broadband pipe is bother their friend and their foe. Pricing, content differentiation, ergonomic controls, and consumer satisfaction will all be needed to keep the customer connected.