Originally published: May 1, 2012
Last updated: May 1, 2012 - 3:53pm
[Commentary] The rumors that Hulu may soon require subscribers to have a cable TV subscription is the perfect cautionary tale for why the companies that make and distribute content shouldn’t own the pipes that deliver that content.
And if the rumors are true, it’s not just a cautionary tale, it’s the new playbook by which pay TV providers will force consumers to buy a special pipe for “the Internet” and a second pipe for TV, despite the fact that technically they are becoming the same thing. There is no denying that as the future of television unfolds it’s disrupting the traditional broadcast, cable TV and content creation models. And while the Senate held a hearing last week to discuss this shift, it felt like they were arriving late to the party, unaware of just how much things were changing as broadband and television converged. Instead of understanding what that convergence meant for the economics of old and new industries and what regulations might be needed to avoid protectionist behavior by pay TV providers and broadcasters, the hearing dealt more with discussions around reworking the Telecommunications Act of 1996 for the current era. That’s not going to happen anytime soon, but I did wonder at the lack of Hulu in the conversation occurring last week at the Capitol.
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