Comcast’s executive vice president Stephen Burke recently admitted during the third quarter results meeting that We are still early on in the transition to internet television that I think we are going to see a lot of surprising things.
Well Comcast may see the future of TV being online the CBS and HBO announcements caught them off guard. “Regarding HBO and CBS selling directly I was surprised, I was surprised by both of them for different reasons.” Burke added CBS has been such a defender of retransmission consent in the traditional ecosystem and been so successful in the broadcast business. HBO surprised me because I think it is going to be such a challenge for them to not cannibalize what is already a really good business.
Comcast may see the future as being online they clearly do not see it coming in the near future. It is also unclear how Comcast would like Internet Television to work. They clearly do not appear to see it as the subscription services recently announced by HBO and CBS.
This move to Internet Television on Comcast part seems to be driven by the recent third quarter subscriber numbers that showed a drop in cable TV subscribers but a 315,000 increase in high speed internet subscribers. This trend has been going on for some time and is slowly building up pressure on content companies as they see dropping subscriber revenues. Leaving companies like CBS with two options raise prices on the shrinking number of subscribers or offer packages to the growing cord cutter market.
Other networks are starting to drop hints of similar packages for cord cutters. Even rumors that ESPN is considering some type of internet only package. As more content goes online companies like Comcast will benefit from the demand for higher speeds.
No matter what comes in the short term it is clear that the future of TV is online and not through your cable box.