The present and future of post production business and technology

Zombie Cable Channels Seek Second Life Online

Zombie Cable Channels Seek Second Life online

Interesting article by the always-worth-reading Jim Louderback takes a look at how magazines that “failed” tended to become “newsletters” and, more recently, websites. He sees a trend with cable channels that are losing carriage or otherwise being removed from the cable networks they previously relied on, taking their chances on Internet Distribution.

Even today, failing cable channels still get morphed or mutilated. Discovery Health is now Oprah’s channel; Fine Living has become Cooking; and Toon Disney is now XD, focused on tweener boys. But the internet is about to change this rebranding mania. Because just as the “website” replaced the “newsletter” for magazines, failing cable channels can now turn to the web for a new lease on life.

WealthTV did it first — announcing last week that it’ll be available on the popular Roku set-top box for $3 a month. With very little carriage to show beyond overbuilders and Charter, the company has clearly given up on cable distribution, and thrown its lot into the web-only world.

First, yes — but definitely not the last. I can think of a score or more struggling channels that could make the switch to pure-play internet within the next three years. And by going direct to consumers via the latest crop of set top boxes and smart TVs, survival is suddenly possible.

He doesn’t expect channels from major networks – yet.







2 responses to “Zombie Cable Channels Seek Second Life Online”

  1. Well, if it’s $3 a month for one channel, and I count the number of channels I use for a program here or there… I need some $40 in programming. This suddenly makes my $30 basic cable with 3x more channels than I use a BARGAIN! So I can channels surf when there’s nothing I WANT to watch on the channels I use, I can see if the channels I don’t use have a movie or something to pass the time.

    Not possible when I have to pay for each channel, and then I only get the channels I pay for.

    Thanks. I’ll stick with what I got.

    1. At the moment all types of online “sales” for digital content are overpriced. That will settle in time.