[opendtv] Re: A Perfect Storm Hits Media Businesses

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 11:32:58 -0400

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> Today's media conglomerates understand that the "pipes" are becoming
> a commodity, and that they will need to offer their content in many
> ways for many devices. They also understood that control of content
> is far more important than the control of the pipes and moved in the
> '90s to consolidate their stranglehold over television content -
> they had already lost control over music, so they focused entirely
> on the control of television and movies.

I agree with that. And I think that along with the networks' own
Internet distribution options, the DTV multiplexes have also made that
"decoupling" of content and carriage more obvious. The content on
multiplexes, not to mention sindicated programming off prime time, make
it abundantly clear even to OTA users that the pipe and the content are
not related.

> As Frank pointed out, however, what happened to music is now
> happening to TV and movies. The congloms will still have control
> over much of the TV and movie content, for awhile, but the tools are
> now in place to allow independent producers to bypass the last
> remaining dinosaurs...

Bah. With greater distribution, two opposing effects take place.
Outstanding content is made available globally, *and* more varied
content is available too. I do not buy the idea that outstanding content
disappears because it gets drowned out by variety. Not entirely.

If the networks continue to produce what the global masses really want,
their content won't lose value.

Another point is that with Internet distribution, the congloms lose the
ability to collect twice for their content. Distribution over the
Internet and distribution FOTA will look very similar to the conglom.
They won't get a portion of ISP subscription fees. Unless ISPs change
the way they do business, to operate more like regular MVPDs.

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