My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Cable Providers secretly mull unbundling their cable channels - Google TV has Customers Tangled A La Carte

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cable Providers secretly mull unbundling their cable channels - Google TV has Customers Tangled A La Carte


Off the fetters
That chafe and restrain!
Off with the chain!

Richard Hovey, Vagabondia

With the coming of Netflix to Latin America and Netflix’s dominance via IPTV streaming platforms in the US of A as noted in my blog article entitled “Netflix coming to Latin America - Fantastic Four Rise of the Silver Surfer”, its is nice to hear some great news about the Cable Providers which may have implications for Local Cable TV Providers in Jamaica such as Triple Play Provider FLOW.

This as Cable TV Providers in the US of A, most of whom are also Triple Play Providers, have secret plans in the works to unbundle their Channel offerings and allow Subscribers to their service to pick and choose their channels as they like as stated in the article “Cable Providers aim to offer channels ‘a la carte’”, published September 28 2011 by ANDREW COUTS, DigitalTrends.

More details are gleaned from the source article from Reuters entitled “In switch, Cable operators want to go "a la carte"”, published Tuesday September 27 2011, Reuters which paints the reason why:

1.   Higher carriage and retransmission costs of channel bundles
2.   Competition from IPTV and Web TV Streaming
3.   Recession battered economy which has increased subscription cancellation

The numbers are telling as to the losses.

Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable, the two largest operators have both lost a total of one million two hundred thousand (1,200,000) subscribers in a one year period ending June 30th 2011AD. Good to note in terms of pure numbers, Triple Play Provider Comcast is in pole position at the No. 1 spot with Direct TV in No. 2 position and Netflix ranging up in No. 3 position with eighteen million three hundred thousand (18,300,000) subscribers.

Cord Cutting is on the rise based on the statistics proffered in my blog articles, albeit people still prefer physical formats such as DVD’s and Blu-Rays is strong, their death being greatly exaggerated as stated in my blog article entitled “Netflix & the Death of Blu-Ray - Rise of the Machines meets Chicken Run”.

This news comes about the same time as talks seems to be sifting about suggesting that Gaming consoles may become Cable Set top box replacements, ironically IPTV streaming using Cable Broadband as per the article “Cable boxes could be rendered useless by gaming consoles”, published September 29, 2011, 10:44am PDT By Rachel King, ZDNet. Microsoft is reportedly negotiating with content Providers, specifically music and movies, for streaming rights in the EU and the USA.

Apparently, having Hulu and Netflix streaming is not enough for Microsoft; they want to be in on the IPTV revolution too. So the prior announcement by the Content programmers and Cable Provider’s stranglehold being broken to the possibility of “A La Carte”, a replacement is already in the wings.

However, one cannot help but wonder about the other 800lb Gorilla in the room: Google TV. Google also has IPTV Streaming ambitions that are as grand as their checkbooks after their US$12.5 billion purchase of Motorola Mobility, with aims to conquer both the USA and EU as per my Geezam blog article entitled “Google Acquires Motorola Mobility – Weapon of Choice in the IP and Set Top Box Wars”.

Their ambitions are the same as Microsoft’s, but using the technology of Motorola Mobility as it relates to Set top boxes to woo Hollywood, most of which Motorola Mobility specializes in as analyzed in my blog article entitled “Google TV making push into the EU – Motorola Mobility Purchase Die Another Day”.

The fear of Google’s potential is probably the straw that broke the Camels back and forced the ostriches [Cable Providers] to pull their heads out of the holes in the sand and argue with the programmers with regards to Unbundling channels and allowing customers to choose what channels they want in their Cable packages

So a future announcement of unbundled A La Carte offering from Cable Providers is in little fennec fox set loose and now being chased by hunters riding on horses this coming Christmas of 2011AD and for the London Olympics slated to begin July 27th 2012AD.

 Already, Triple Play Provider FLOW is following the lead of Triple Play Provider Comcast and putting in place the necessary changes to take advantage of the coming IPTV and Web Streaming paradigm as stated in my blog article entitled “FLOW goes 3D HDTV et al – Netflix to make FLOW Extinct” that is sure to get customers Tangled (2010) and in love with watching Cable TV all over again. 

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