Once Again "We Have Invented Cable …" And, Hey! We Told You So …

By Paul Maxwell Report Archives
Cover image for  article: Once Again "We Have Invented Cable …" And, Hey! We Told You So …

That first line above quotes Doreen St. Felix in her The New Yorker(06/08-15)On Television column following a short listing of streaming services. She noted, "Subscribe to Apple TV+, Disney + and Hulu, Netflix, the ill-fated Quibi, and now HBO Max — the latest of the big-deal bundles to premiere, in late May — and find yourself participating in a bitter joke: we have invented cable."

Not quite, but maybe.

But just think, she can self-bundle now. And you can, too!

But, as so many of us predicted, your programming and connectivity bill went up … again.

While most iterations of what were once called cable operators will still sell you pre-packaged bundles of programming options, their main business has become the Internet … or, more specifically, many shades of broadband.

After all, today's most important "television" is brought to us via Zoom.

Random Notes:

• The issue that just won't die: Network Neutrality … or, any time there's a loophole, someone will find it. This time, the company that really should know better is trying to disguise what it is doing by trying to bury the self-favoritism in the parent company … so AT&T corporate is paying the additional distribution fees for HBO Max customers that would be data charges on AT&T own distribution outlets. Tsk, tsk.

• Programmers are also facing some new distribution problems besides carriage and retransmission cost fees from classic infrastructure companies … this time with newfound set-top-box sort of intermedia access companies like Roku and Amazon Prime. Revenue sharing fees can be interesting.

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