More evidence of the Internet threat to TV

More evidence of the Internet threat to TV
I brought my dog and pony show to a client’s sales force yesterday. I enjoy watching the lights go on in the faces of those who begin to understand the real threat that continued fragmentation means to their market and, more importantly, what they can do about it.

So it was interesting this morning to wake up and read the MediaDailyNews account of a new FCC study on the subject. Not that I’m paranoid, but it’s as though the FCC researcher was in our workshop yesterday.

As if the TV universe weren’t already crowded enough, an important new study released Wednesday by the Federal Communications Commission shows the expansion of TV viewing options continues to grow and that the Internet is poised to become a major factor. As of June 2003, Americans had 339 national TV networks available to them, more than three times the number of networks that were available ten years ago when the FCC first began publishing its annual report on competition in the video marketplace.

While the FCC did not project what the impact of further competition might have on future channel availability or on consumer costs, it does suggest that Internet video is finally poised to become a significant factor, mainly because of the rapid expansion of broadband Internet access.

Local television’s only downstream hope is to become serious multimedia distributors of local content. It requires a completely different mindset, but the leap is not as enormous as many think.

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