With the holidays fast approaching and a desire to beat others to the punch, I thought I would put together some media predictions for 2012. Some may be too obvious, others are a little more out there, but only to help my win-loss percentage! Agree or disagree, it's better to have tried to predict and fail, then never to have tried at all. So here goes.
1. Time Warner Cable drops MSG from its line-up on January 1. No contract renewal will come quickly although eventually one should happen. Should TWC and MSG agree to keep the signal on while negotiations continue into 2012, then it foretells my second prediction.
2. Cablevision is officially put on the sale block. The likely bidder is Time Warner Cable, but don't underestimate Comcast. And what about Verizon? Would the DOJ and FCC even let them bid. Let me also put under this prediction that if not Cablevision, another cable operator will certainly be acquired. Could it be as large as Cox Cable? Would Charter put itself for sale after picking up Tom Rutledge? But there are also smaller operators that might just be ready to give up the fight. Someone is going down.
3. Every prediction seems to include Apple and mine is a no brainer. There will be an iPhone 5 and iPad 3 in 2012. But I don't believe we will see an HDTV from Apple; rather, I am banking on bigger improvements to their Apple TV product. Let this little box do all the dirty work for any HDTV.
4. RIM/Blackberry gets sold. They have lost the mobile battle and need a new owner and leadership to rebrand. With no major enhancements to their product line planned for next year, it's like the white flag is already being waved. So who buys them? Google bought Motorola, so maybe Amazon needs to pick up RIM.
5. Hearing that the Super Bowl will be streamed for free next year, will cause the other major sports groups to do the same. The NBA, NHL, and World Series should all see their final games live streamed in 2012.
Okay, now a couple of more outlandish predictions. Anything is possible and here's a couple to make you think.
* A cable operator buys a wireless provider. As a wired distributor of content, the next space logically seems wireless. WIFI coverage may not be enough and perhaps there is new business opportunities in buying someone like T-Mobile or perhaps even Sprint. Would Comcast or TWC seem the likely party, absolutely. They could easily move their marketing from a triple play to quad play,offering cable, hardwire phone, broadband, and a wireless phone contract.
* There are too many discount web businesses, with Living Social and Groupon leading the list. Can they all survive or will one quickly exit? I've lost interest in checking everyday for deals.
* Another cable network loses its independence and merges with a bigger group. Who will it be/ I don't want to say, but consolidation continues to push forward and content distribution will only grow as big fish eat up the little fish.
* Barnes & Noble continues to diversify and improve its merchandising strategy in-store and sees a significant boost in retail business along with its growth with the Nook as well.
* Lightsquared figures out how to exist without hurting existing GPS signals. It will help to push additional competition in the broadband space.
So there they are. I hope you enjoyed reading my ramblings this year. If you like reading what I write, please share the link with your friends. To all, a safe and happy holiday. No plans to blog again till after the New Year. Happy and Healthy!!