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Apple's not going to kill cable any time soon

I really enjoyed this article over on Silicon Alley Insider, the commentary and Henry's sweet double-negative quote which pretty much says it all. "I see almost no chance that this is NOT the future of the TV business." Similar to something our founder Jeremy Allaire said to me in late 2004 when he convinced me to leave Comcast for what would become Brightcove. TV of the near-future, which is already here for some, will look a whole lot more like the rest of the Internet than TV of today. "Unparalleled levels of choice and control" is what we used to say in the early days. Seems quaint now to ever think this would not be the case. 

Will Richmond has a nice complement to the SAI piece over on his VideoNuze blog today ( He fleshes out some of the economics at play behind the scenes here. Apple is certainly going to be an interesting player here. But it is one of many, and there are are a lot of tensions at work that will take years to play out. 

1. You've got the inertia of the American public (never to be underestimated) vs. the growing minority of Hulu-Netflix-Amazon-Torrent cable cutters. These revolutions take a bit longer than we all expect in our echo chamber. Tivo anyone?

2. Sports is another area of tension. It's the killer app for HD, and the reason that Comcast SportsNet exists. It's easy to connect the dots from Eli Manning's $97mm contract extension to TV rights to higher affiliate fees for ESPN from the MSOs. I'll be watching Jack Bauer regularly over my new gig ethernet network at home well before I ever see a Super Bowl (no less one featuring Donovan McNabb - c'mon Birds!). 

3. Perspective. TV folks have the benefit of watching what's happened to print publishing and music, and will be more pragmatic. Multichannel programming will be the norm for a while. Operationalizing that as part of the business presents a great opportunity for innovation - workflow, ads, analytics, mobile, social viewing. 

Should be a fun year. Long way of saying I agree with the author (except for the VMSO coinage – we’re already calling these companies MVPDs). 2010 will be a watershed year for new services providers to emerge that will change how we watch what we watch.