I was recently asked why I care so much about “preserving the antiquated system of over-the-air broadcasting.” Truth be told, I don’t. Why? For the most part the “antiquated” system was analog and that went to the graveyard back in 2009, giving way to digital broadcasting. Digital broadcasting is what I care about and that system is hardly antiquated.
By all accounts, this is the era of choice and convenience. It is also the era of cheapskates who don’t want to pay for anything on the Internet. Why should they? The Internet trained us to believe that just about everything (news, photos, videos, games, information) could be had for the price of a click. Until iTunes burst on the scene, that notion really pestered the music industry.
Today, the great land grab on the web is about television or video entertainment in general. And just as the music industry struggled until it found its business model, Internet TV will do the same. While we’re moving from a one-to-many distribution medium to a one-to-one medium, TV content is still being “made” in the same, perhaps, old-fashioned way: producers and writers being paid by networks who are using local ad dollars. None of that has changed. Our challenge is to transition broadcast TV to broadband TV with dollars and quality intact. Choice and convenience will follow.