[opendtv] Re: Does Netflix/Comcast Deal Remove Obstacle To TWC Merger? - Forbes

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2014 08:08:51 -0500

On Feb 27, 2014, at 7:15 PM, "Manfredi, Albert E" 
<albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Yes agreed so far. But this goes to the crux of our disagreements.
> 1. The ISPs are typically local monopolies, although hopefully 4G cellular 
> could change that.

Cellular is also an oligopoly, and damn expensive at that.

> So, as long as ISPs remain **strictly** standards-based and **strictly** 
> content-neutral, I can live with that. Just as I do with my electric and 
> water utilities. Same plumbing standards, same voltage and frequency 
> standards, same Ethernet and IP standards, no matter which of these utilities 
> you use. I don't have to go begging hat in hand to my power utility to buy a 
> light bulb, Craig.

If you want those fancy new LED bulbs you can buy them Bert, they are just more 
expensive than a tungsten filament bulb. If you want exclusive content via the 
Internet you can buy it Bert, but you'll need to pay the going price of a MVPD 

> 2. The content owners compete over the neutral Internet medium and the 
> neutral OTA medium.

And in stores like Target, Walmart, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and at the Redbox on 
the corner. But some of their most exclusive stuff is only available via a MVPD 
subscription. You can buy it from your local cable company, a DBS service, and 
in a few markets via a telco or Google. They deliver some of this stuff -  
HBOGo and Watch ESPN - over the neutral Internet too. But you cannot watch it 
because it requires authentication.

> 3. But for those with MVPD subscriptions, the "video distribution" live 
> streams aspect is in practice a local monopoly. That's the only 
> non-standards-based monopoly in the bunch.

Comcast and Cox Cable offer all of these streams to subscribers over the 
neutral Internet...

For a price.
> No, it's not. The IP distribution medium has miraculously remained neutral 
> and standards-based, so that EVEN IF your ISP is an MVPD, the IP fraction of 
> its bandwidth is still usable by any standards-based IP appliance. Incredible 
> good fortune. Let's not pretend this is only a matter of semantics.

And if you want to watch their exclusive content via the standards based ISP 
portion of their ISP networks you can...

But you still need a subscription. Technology IS NOT the issue Bert. The 
business model is the issue.
>> content owners have maintained their oligopoly over multiple generations
>> of technology. It will be no more difficult to move these oligopolies to
>> the Internet, if all else stays the same.
> They are already on the Internet, Craig. You are ONLY talking about a matter 
> of degree. And indications are, from articles posted even by you, that even 
> hold-outs like ESPN are deliberating their future.


Yes Bert, they are moving their oligopolies to your beloved Internet, where you 
STILL will need to pay for a MVPD subscription to watch on your beloved PC.

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