Monday, March 30, 2009

Figuring Out This Online TV Model

The line between TV and the internet is blurring quicker than you may think. Subscription-based services may soon replace a lot of free programming available through hulu and the like:

"Time Warner Cable, the second-largest cable operator in the country, is working with customers here to test a subscriber model for online TV viewing. Residents who pay for HBO can watch “Big Love,” “Entourage” and other programs on their computers, using special software and a personal log-in. People who are not HBO subscribers are barred from the service."

"Cable executives expect broader tests by this summer of the new systems, which require them to develop technology to identify their subscribers when they go online. The approach is expected to be a hot topic at the cable industry’s annual trade show in Washington this week.

There are also signs that broadcasters and cable networks are worried that their initial, highly publicized push to put some of their programs online may be threatening the higher revenue they bring in when the same material runs on regular television. Cable networks are loath to put programs online unless they can maintain the per-subscriber fee that they receive from distributors."

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