Remember the FCC Broadband Reclamation, the Public Values Test, and MOBILE-DTV articles? One of the points was new formulas for broadcasting and new unimagined partnerships.
Last article I mentioned DirecTV had made a move into programming with the pickup of Damages for the next new two seasons in partnership with Sony Pictures. Moving from a satellite provider into producing and broadcasting a series is a significant move. We now here that HBO is considering a relocation of their programming outlet, from the current setup with cable and satellite outlets, into distribution alternatives. This could be anything but it has been hinted that it may be direct sales to customers through some form of internet subscription.
Right now in order to get HBO you have to go through several layers of tiered packaging through any one of the outlet systems, costing you $60, $80 or more. With direct subscription you could get HBO for as little as $20 a month, theoretically. Only now is the delivery quality attractive to high end programmers like HBO.
How this happens depends on two basic issues; income potential and delivery accuracy. You can see it. Maybe in a year from now you could get HBO as a $10 addon to your Netflix subscription, or even a new system as being proposed by Sony. Or maybe it will be subscription with HBO directly. Maybe all the existing outlets remain the same but new systems are added. HBO could change from a premium channel to the most available network in the country. Read the article below for more details.
Right now there are several ‘free’ Internet streaming systems as options to paid packages. Most likely that will change, the time of free is closing down. Could HBO buy Netflix?
In other moves, there is considerable concern that NPR and PBS are on the block with the new Republican agenda to cut spending. This is old news and PBS has been under attack for as long as it has existed. But some feel that NPR is very much endangered as is radio overall. PBS, which is a mix of radio and tv may survive, but drastically reduced. Both receive about 15% of their operational budget directly from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which is funded directly by congress. Added to this is a mixture of philanthropy and direct viewer support. But the programming base would dramatically change and that endangers those funding sources.
This could mean KHET may seek a new partnership. For the first time, you could see commercials on KHET. The money has to come from somewhere. And with the spectrum reassignment KHET would be motivated to develop long term partners. A lot of the national programming will disappear and they will be forced to find new shows. You may be seeing the beginning of this already.
It could even mean the new KHET joins with ‘Olelo and some other public oriented entity. This was actually considered several years ago. If PBS loses the funding base from CPB, then ‘Olelo and PBS will be competing for the same funding resources, even more so than they already do. They can’t both win. One of them would lose, so a partnership or a funding war could easily develop.
One more thing. Apple has succeeded in getting a patent for 3DTV without Glasses. Quite a number of companies have been working on Glass-less technology and several have their own patents. But the move into this arena by Apple is a big hint of where they will go.
A Hui Hou