Reports of Cable TV’s Vitality Greatly Exaggerated

Maybe cable TV isn’t as alive as we think it is. Max Fisher of The Atlantic thinks it’s doomed. And he thinks that the FCC’s national broadband plan is going to sound the death knell.  Actually, he thinks it was doomed anyway, and this is just going to hasten its demise. As he says, it was never a good model, because you pay both the cable company to receive a channel, and the station itself through advertising.  Which, frankly, is exactly why the cable companies have been making money hand over fist for years, and so far the medium has been looking pretty frisky for something that’s on its death bed. Web TV, though, will give users a degree of control that they lack with the bundling system on cable. So far, the quality of streaming on the web has not met the quality of television, but that will change over time. In Mr. Fisher’s  vision of the future, networks, not having to fill 24 hours with programming will be free act “more like movie studios”, releasing programming when it was appropriate (the implication is that, in this utopia, all network programming would be of the highest quality). This new world would also be a boon to independent producers of TV shows.  Which it already is, but I guess what he means is that more people would actually watch them.

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