It’s been a pet peeve of mine during the copyright and "must carry" debates that the broadcasters constantly complained we were simply "taking their product" and making money on it. Wrong. We always enhanced their product by actually delivering it to customers not satisfied with the delivery they were getting, otherwise they would have never paid for cable in the first place. Think about it. When cable started (as "community antenna television") it delivered broadcast television only. Yet, folks paid us for that delivery. Why? The broadcasters didn’t do a great job of delivering it themselves, that’s why. Had they paid the extra money for better or more transmitter power or location, had they installed good repeater towers, cable may not have been a viable business. But we are because we provide a service that customers want: we deliver. That is a service folks are willing to pay for, and it’s separable from the programs being delivered. We are starting to see a new paradigm of delivery of broadcast programming with announcements in the past few days about NBC and CBS reaching agreements to start testing VOD delivery of popular series programs. Time-shifted delivery. This is a logical step for the broadcasters. Indeed, as usual, it’s long overdue. The sensible approach for broadcasters is to allow all of their programming to be made available on demand. Of course this new model will have to be tested, to make sure they make as much if not more on (hopefully free) VOD delivery as may be cut from the value of syndication or DVD sales. Added VOD eyeballs should help them retain critical advertising revenue. That, alone, should make the case. They should pay us! The point, however, is that it’s not only the programs that are important, which they are, but also how and when they’re delivered. It’s getting very old, already, to be reading about the trend toward "…what they want, when they want it". We’ve known that, and said so for a long time. The issue has always been how to deliver that service. The cable industry, with our newly built systems, which have wonderful capability and flexibility, get the job done. To me, it seems obvious that "EOD"…Everything On Demand, is the next step. It’s going to be done in two ways. It will be a combination of DVR functionality and recording at the set top and it will be an almost identical service offered from the cable headend, hopefully enhanced by not having to remember to "program" the recorder. As I have asked in the past, why should the length of the wire between the storage device and the set make any difference? Right now DVRs do not violate copyright laws, but providing the same service from the headend of a cable system might. Makes no sense. It’s time to re- think copyright laws. But in the meantime, the broadcasters are wise to start offering a "demand" service for their product and working through the cable companies to do it. After all, we’re the ones capable of delivery, they’re not. Will the 99-cents fee per show deter? Induce them to buy a DVR so they remember to record shows themselves and avoid the fee? Will broadcasters finally acknowledge the value we add with delivery? Hard to say, but the good news is time and delivery service are finally being valued. That can only help cable.

The Daily


Verizon Scores Fixed Wireless Victory

Traditional broadband providers have said they don’t see fixed wireless as a huge threat in terms of competition. Verizon’s 3Q21 numbers may be enough to give them pause.

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