Big Networks limited view of VOD

So now that the iTMS has announced a successful foray into video it seems the impact has been realized and other deals are starting to flow in, which is great news … in theory.

In Januaray, if you are a Comcast subscriber you’ll be potentially able to view CSI, Survivor, NCIS and Amazing Race for $.99.  Of course, you have to live in one of the 17 markets in which CBS owns and operates the stations… not sure how you figure that out now in a simple way, though clearly in January you’ll either find the shows available or you won’t.  Affiliate owners are against this type of system as they announced as well when Apple cut the ABC deal on iTunes as it (in their view) cuts into their ability to sell advertising.

NBC Universal announced their deal as well, though it’s with DirecTV.  Same price $.99 which is nice, but you will need to buy a new set top box because the shows will download overnight and be saved on the hard drive.  If you don’t have the box, you’ll have to watch on programmed intervals much the same way PPV works today…

Only Networks and Carriers could make it so complex and limiting…

So now aside from Fox, you can find some network, prime-time programming through some additional locations which is interesting but you can’t possibly get everything in one place and you can only watch on your TV at home. 

What would really make this interesting and potentially cool, would be HDTV for starters.  These are the existing network delivery systems and it would be easy enough to do.  It would in fact be a unique selling proposition that iTunes can’t beat – for now anyway.  CBS and NBC are trying to make it more attractive to go through your TV rather than iTunes with a lower price, but my guess is that many of the people actually interested in this type of thing are already using a DVR of some kind and can already record their favorite programs for free.  

In our home, we have 2 DVRs, each with 2 tuners capable of recording 2 HDTV channels at a time.  We don’t have digital portability, but we can seriously record a lot of stuff without conflict if we need to… In fact we actually end up recording a few of the same things to both boxes so we can watch upstairs or downstairs.  There’s currently no way to beam content from one box to another … (though the capability exists in test markets SA 8300MR anyone?)

I know this is all still early and more toe in the water than anything… it’s just interesting to see that the old world needs to hold on tight as the new more disruptive world enhances a viewer’s ability to enjoy content where and when they want.  Which would you rather be?  Enhancing the relationship or providing a continually limited and controlling view on how it should work.

More from the WSJ, NYT and

technorati tags: , , , , , , , ,

One Reply to “Big Networks limited view of VOD”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.