The FCC apparently wants to open up the cable market. This could lead to brand new buisness models and new services.
My guess is that this will take a long time to happen. It always does. Just look at digitalTV, open cablecard, DVRs et al.
But I think the stakes are rising for cable operators. Telcos aren’t standing still. Verizon Fios is a big deal. Innovation online is happening faster than ever. And now the FCC is after them.
Here are a few things I would do if I was at a cable operator today:
-Stop fighting your consumers. Stop forcing folks to watch commercials. Stop throttling back internet usuage. It’s a waste of time. It’s the same as apple trying to stop the hackers. Bad game. No one wins.
-Allow any & all content provider to host/publish their video content to your VOD servers. Storage is not an issue. But I know that bandwidth isn’t free. So sell ads on VOD. Charge a nominal amount to the content provider if the ad revenue doesn’t cover the cost of the network.
-Now the resistance you may get from long tail content owners on the above idea is that navigation/discovery on VOD is too hard for most consumers. So do a deal with Google and/or MSFT and let them offer a better guide experience with search. Sell keywords that content folks can bid on. You’ll get paid in both directions.
-Invest in broadband video. Get hbo and other premium content online. Launch a killer cdn for 3rd parties. Acquire a top tier UGC video service.
I don’t know if the FCC will succeed in getting their wish. But it may not matter.
They want a change too.