Tuesday, March 29, 2011

TV anywhere? How about nowhere.

Does where I watch television matter just as much as what I watch?

If you're Viacom or Scripps, the answer is apparently yes.

There's a huge fight going on now over whether or not the cable companies have the right to create apps that stream video content that subscribers have already paid for onto iPads and other mobile devices. Content providers see this is a violation of their existing contracts and want the cable companies to pay them more. I have just one question, why?

Why should I pay more to watch The Daily Show on an iPad at the breakfast table rather than sitting on a couch in my living room at 10 P.M.?

In fact, I'd say the cable companies are doing the content owners a favor by creating these apps. Their allowing their content to be seen by more people who've already paid for it.

Even with a DVR there are more shows on that I can possibly watch. I've paid for every single one of the 160+ channels that are brought into my home by the cable. Why should I pay again if I want to watch them more conveniently somewhere else? After all, that just provides me with more opportunities to be exposed to the advertising messages, which should theoretically make the programming more valuable.

My advice to Scripps, Viacom and the cable companies, embrace this new behavior and find a way to use to add value to your advertisers, rather than trying to squeeze more out of customers who already are wondering whether that monthly bill is really worth the money.


  1. You are so right. I dumped the cable TV at the cottage in Sister Bay. I could find most of the programming on various network sites or Hulu ... when I wanted to watch.

    Yes, Charter still gets my money for the Internet connection up there. I haven't cut the cable TV at home just yet, but I am considering dumping the premium package. The movies are old and there isn't enough good original programming on HBO to justify the cost.

    Speaking of trying to squeeze more money out of their content consumers. I am taken aback by the New York Times online subscription rates. If one wants unlimited access on their desktop, iPad and iPhone (mobile), the cost is $35/month. It makes basic cable look like a bargain. One channel of information for $35/month versus about the same subscription rate for about 75 channels of content. Hmmm.

    This is especially odd since NYT has been giving away their content for years. We'll see how this goes.

  2. With the recent flux of media convergence, it's definitely good to shop around to find the best fit for your particular situation. For me, I am satisfied with DISH Network. In contrast to the other providers, my TV Everywhere really WORKS everywhere. I use it on my iPad and can watch ALL my channels, manage and access my DVR and view thousands of movies and shows on-demand!! I work for DISH and had a chance to check it out before I bought it, and it really delivers!! Check it out at Dish.com/TVEverywhere!!