In the business world, a dinosaur is a person or a company that is stuck in the past – not knowing that the environment has changed to the point that old strategies for success no longer apply. The CEO of Comcast has now clearly show himself to be a dinosaur.
In an interview with PBS, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts announced that cable operators would never agree with selling a la carte options – by which he meant that his company would not sell channels on an individual basis. He completely misses the fact that the discussion is now about selling individual programs – not channels.
In the world of Brian Roberts, every person that wants to read a book should be forced to read the same thing at the same time. We each read what we want to read when we want to read it because the book industry evolved in a way that we can easily each purchase different books at whenever is convenient for us.
Similarly, the future of video entertainment is individualized, not broadcast. The broadcast system has lasted as long as it has because until now there was no workable solution for people to watch what they want when they want to watch it. Today, with broadband internet, individualized video is technically possible. It will happen, and if Brian Roberts continues to lead Comcast as he is currently doing, Comcast will become as extinct as the dinosaur it seems to be.
Here is the article in Boy Genius Report on Robert’s statements to PBS: [Link].
The idea of a la carte cable programming that would allow subscribers to pick and choose the stations they pay for is one that we have all dreamt of for years now. Some pay TV executives tease us from time to time and talk about how a la carte options might become available at some point in the future, but at least one CEO isn’t shy in stating that cable operators will never split up channel packages. ”If you had to pay separately for just PBS, probably, sadly, not a majority of Americans would do that,” Comcast’s chief executive Brian Roberts told PBS in an interview. “So there’s many channels, whether it’s Discovery Channel or C-SPAN or many, many others, that just aren’t viable. You can’t just buy the sports section ofThe New York Times. You take the whole paper.” Roberts also noted that he believes pay TV streaming startup Aereo is breaking the law by stealing content and rebroadcasting it without permission. Comcast’s NBCUniversal is one of several broadcasters currently suing Aereo in an effort to have the service shut down.