Media distribution is truly changing. Heritage (that includes broadcast) media is moving out of its chrysalis state with networked, broadband TV media emerging. How long before it completely bursts out of its shell. Bits of its wings, legs, antenae are visible but how long before it is ready to fly? After talking to a few industry folk today about to launch IPTV trials at up to 100Mbs and reading several reports I suspect it is going to be (mixing metaphors) a very difficult birth. Even though in France, IPTV is said to have brought broadband penetration up to a record 75% and in the UK open competition is forcing British Telecom’s hand to roll out IPTV nationwide in rapid timeframe – some territories ‘idiotic’ regulation is making their media industry look postively last century.

I am staggered to see in some countries the strangle-hold traditional commercial free-to-air broadcasters have over government who impose ridiculous media regulation. Also how much the ‘goverment beaten’ telcos in the same countries are justifying over-charging its customers to protect and reap back so-called investment in faster connectivity – that it believes will be sold off cheap to competition. Finally I am shocked to see how far heritage media (broadcast cable, satellite and terrestrial) may go to stop the telcos edging in on their market. This article (Cable Industry Refuses to Run Paid For Verizon Commercial) from TVoverNet shows how worried old media are by the butterfly emerging from its bosom.

Dennis Bone, president of Verizon New Jersey. “The cable industry is erecting yet another barrier to efforts to give consumers in New Jersey what they want and deserve: a choice of cable TV providers.”
The 30-second spot, titled “CPI,” has a simple message. It states that, since 2001, cable prices have increased four times as much as the Consumer Price Index. “While prices in some industries have actually gone down, cable rates have risen 86 percent” since 1995, according to the FCC, as stated in the commercial.

Posted by Gary Hayes ©2006