The Wall Street Journal on Friday reported that cable TV giants Comcast and Time Warner Cable are engaged in talks with their programming partners about distributing more cable TV programming (non-major network stuff) online. The moves are being viewed both as strategic offensive attacks against popular online TV viewing sites, and as a defensive measure against the possibility that the growing popularity of such sites, the shriveling of the economy, and tougher competition from telcos and others will create a perfect storm that will make cable TV customers "cut the cord."
It's a fear that TWC chief Glenn Britt referred to earlier this month, and analysis of his comments gained a life of their own in industry blogs, publications (ours included) and discussion forums for days afterward. Since then, many observers have suggested that the cutting of the video cord is not something that TV service providers need to worry about at all, with such an infinitesimal number of people actually watching TV online.
In any case, the cable TV companies may be looking to examine new models for distributing and billing for content that will keep customers engaged.
- Light Reading's Cable Digital News has this report
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