Will the FCC open up the cable market?

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.

-Launch BetterTV

-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.

The market also has an opinion

They want a change too.