In a system of established cable and television business models with restrictive syndication, it seems the only way to push the evolution of video forward is to approach distribution in as many angles and in as many territories as possible. HBO is finally embarking on this frontier with their recent announcement of HBO Nordic AB, a service that will provide HBO content direct to consumers for the first time in Europe. This move is a symbol of changing audience expectations and the very real opportunities that exist for video producers and publishers if they will only tap in.
This weekend, Fox stations began to disappear from the NY-based Cablevision system, which provides service to about 3 million homes. The rhetoric is about News Corp’s greed or about Cablevision’s unwillingness to fairly compensate News Corp for the value of their programming. That’s the battle, but not the war.
We are seeing more and more disputes between cable operators and networks over carriage fees. The reason for this is that ad-supported networks are preparing for the day when they can’t support the cost of programming through ad revenue. In fact, they already rely on carriage fees. But as more and more viewers look at cable only as a pipe filled with shows and live viewing dwindles, the audience is skipping the ads. As advertisers realize that so many of the impressions they are buying are being delivered but not seen, the advertising income line on a network’s balance sheet will soften. That loss will need to be made up somewhere else, and the most obvious else is carriage fees.
We have been studying the audience that is removing itself from interruptive advertising’s reach and it is a very large audience. They aren’t... Read more