by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
cable, lock-in, tv everywhere

Why TV Everywhere Will Fail: Because It's Based On Taking Away Value, Not Adding It

from the not-how-things-work,-folks dept

We've been pretty skeptical of the plans by the big cable companies to create "TV Everywhere," a system to try to reduce churn by offering users the ability to access TV shows online that match their cable subscriptions. The problem, of course, is that the cable companies aren't looking at this as a way to embrace the future, but more as a way to make the internet act more like cable. This is a recipe for failure. Mark Glaser, over at PBS MediaShift, digs in to explain the many reasons why TV Everywhere is likely to fail, and they're all focused around a simple issue: the whole concept is based on limiting consumer options, rather than increasing them. The TV Everywhere supporters shoot back that they are increasing options by giving people access to their TV channels online, but that's only under very restrictive conditions that are more designed to keep you from cutting the cord from the cable company -- a relationship many customers are fed up with and would love to ditch. It's a simple message that so many companies have trouble understanding these days: you don't succeed by limiting customers and taking away value.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2010 @ 4:36am

    My cable costs a little over $100 per month. This cable company abuses various copy control schemes as a means to encourage customers to ditch their current PVR in favor of one of the company's $1000 set top boxes. If you do, all the DRM "problems" go away. This company throttles not only bittorrent, but also high bandwidth users as well despite the fact that "unlimited" bandwidth is what these customers are paying for. Cable company claims it is "network management" meant to protect the customer base and keep things fair, but it is obvious to me that everything is carefully aimed at protecting cable and maximizing profits. It is all very anti-consumer and the CRTC seems to think this behavior is ok. I would have dumped them already if it wasn't for the lack of competition in my area.

    Considering how much I pay and how I'm treated in return, I certainly don't feel bad about downloading TV shows anymore. Would happily pay a good internet start up monthly for VoD so long as the service had tons of content and the price was reasonable. Can't see it happening within my lifetime though, what with the monopoly execs out there having their collective heads up their asses. If I didn't channel surf as much as I do (I'm home bound due to illness), I'd ditch my cable service and just rely on bittorrent for everything.

    So sad, it's just like the music and software problem. I have the money and I'm willing to spend it, but not when it is overpriced, lacks quality, is full of DRM, and isn't in the form I truly want it in. This is why I won't shed a tear when the content industry collapses and look forward to all the newer, better business that arise from the ashes, hopefully having learned a valuable lesson. One can dream, right?

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