Oh, the humanity. In another reminder that TV service providers don’t have your best interests in mind, Dish Network executive Bruce Eisen recently said streaming TV sites (like Hulu) that allow you to watch new episodes of shows the day after they air should instead delay new shows by 30 days.
“‘If I can watch Glee tomorrow morning and I don’t have to pay a pay TV service –- I think that’s bad,’ Eisen said during a panel about cord cutting at the Streaming Media West conference this morning.
The model of sites like Hulu that make catchup content available immediately isn’t benefiting the industry, he said, adding that broadcasters should instead reserve catchup episodes for authenticated TV Everywhere services, and only make them available freely after 30 days. ‘If people decide that they don’t have to pay for pay TV, then one of the pillars (of the TV industry) starts crumbling,’ he said.”
So TV, in general, is still broken. Let’s clear off the kitchen table and take a look at how this all works.
We have the content creators—the networks—like NBC, ABC, FOX, and CBS. We have the TV service providers—the cable companies—like Comcast, Cablevision, Dish Network, and DirecTV. And we have online TV streaming sites like Hulu.com, TV.com, and XfinityTV.com, to name a few.
The content creators broadcast their most popular programming over the air for free. The programming is supported by advertising, but all you need is an antenna to watch it on your TV set.
The TV service providers retransmit these broadcasts over their own pipes and also offer additional programming that’s not available for free over the air—we call it “cable TV.”
Even though the content creators broadcast basic channels over the air for free, they charge the TV service providers a retransmission fee for delivering the same content over their own pipes (cable).
Through the air? Free. Underground? Not free.