Free TV debate rages on: Cuban reinforces HDTV and VOD, others look for free content

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, chairman of HDNet and renowned telecommunications industry maverick, has again laid out his reasons why consumers prefer to watch VoD and HDTV rather than over-the-top video. Among the five points in a rant he delivered to NewTeeVee, Cuban offered up the advice that content and TV providers "aren't stupid. They won't continue to give content away or sell it on the cheap at the risk of losing billions of dollars in revenue." Cuban said that this is a point that "Internet folks seem to ignore."

That point was perhaps reinforced in another blog (rant?) by a tech blogger who goes by Whytewolf maintaining that the TV model is doomed because "consumers hate this... because their bills keep going up. A lot. Way beyond what many subscribers see as reasonable."

Even so, an item by Craig Engler, general manager and senior vice president of Syfy digital explained why you can't watch every show online for free: it costs money to produce content. Cable operators, Engler said, are "paying to show our content in the areas that they serve (and) they don't want us giving away that content for free on the Internet in those same areas. We can choose not to sell our channel to them and put our content online, but (for now) there is no way to recoup our expenses with online only distribution."

This is one debate that probably won't subside anytime soon.

For more:
- see this blog
- and this blog
- and this blog

Related articles:
Cuban ruminates on TV Everywhere
Internet TV vs. cable battle of words ends in a draw