A TV House Divided

from the shortsighted-is-more-like-it dept

I really think it’s amusing every time I read an article about the difficulty AOL-Time Warner has had in creating synergies between their various pieces. Some are even insisting that there simply are no possible synergies between the two companies. Just as those arguments began, there were plenty of discussions about the difficulties AOL was having in getting people to sign up for their broadband access… It’s been shown that services like Napster encourage people to sign up for broadband, but Time Warner’s legal department was working furiously to shut down Napster (and its children). So, what AOL-Time Warner needed for one division, another division was trying to shut down. Now, according to the NY Times, it seems that the same battle is happening in the television arena within AOL-TW. There’s a battle between Time Warner Cable, and the broadcasting divisions. Time Warner cable wants to offer interactive TV and let people skip commercials and time shift their viewing. The broadcasting side (run by the guy who once said anyone who flipped channels during commercials was a “thief”) is doing eveything they can to block that. I hate to break it to the folks there, but if AOL-Time Warner doesn’t offer these features that customers want someone else will. And then AOL-TW will get no money from those consumers. Instead of looking at the specific interests of each of its divisions, AOL-TW might do better to realize that they are, as a whole, an entertainment company. Then, they might realize the synergies that they do have, and actually offer a product that consumers want. For example, if Time Warner Cable offered a TiVo-like service, including commercial skipping and other cool features, they would find people would pay extra to sign up. Some of that money could then be shifted to the broadcasters/studios they own to produce more content. Unfortunately, it seems that the old timers with no creativity are running the show – and because of that the synergies will wither and die, and some other company will provide the services and content that consumers want.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.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

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...