CBS signs up for Joost: smaller broadcasters to feel the pain

, posted: 13-Apr-2007 20:15

JoostAfter getting cosy with Viacom in February this year, Joost is now officially in bed with CBS as well. That means popular TV programmes like CSI will appear on Joost plus CBS News (they're not there yet; I just checked).

This is one development that should have smaller, local broadcasters feeling just a bit nervous. If the large networks start licensing fresh, premium content to the P2PTV upstart directly, audience numbers for traditional broadcasters could go south quite quickly. Mind you, it'll be a while before the research companies start featuring Internet TV in their studies, so we'll likely see a bunch of "disappearing TV audiences" stories first.

Ars Technica reckons CBS will take something like 90 (yes, ninety) per cent of ad revenue in return for the programming, which is a hefty proportion. Then again, Joost is a compelling proposition for broadband customers with a low barrier of entry so there's no reason to think it won't have large numbers of users soon.

If CBS finds that it makes more out of supplying content to the likes of Joost than flogging it to smaller, local outfits we could be looking at major consolidation in the traditional broadcasting industry as falling audience numbers and ad revenues bite.

While in New Zealand the broadcasters are to some extent protected by the feeble broadband we have - slowish speeds, high contention ratios and low data caps don't make for a good Joost viewing experience - they really need to pay attention to P2PTV.

Instead of dabbling with Freeview, spend the money on developing a free P2PTV client with local content. Make it HD as well, and get the advertisers onboard.

If TVNZ and Co don't do it soon, my bet is that they won't be around after a few years, even without the silly government-imposed Charter and having to hand over profits from advertising.

Other related posts:
The problem with VDSL2, part 2
The problem with VDSL2
The mysterious Dynamic Line Management on VDSL2

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