Broadband is killing TV, slowly but surely

A sure sign that interest in TV is waning is the fact that major media firms like Disney, Viacom, CBS, and Time Warner have announced a partnership with some of the biggest advertisers in the country (Proctor & Gamble, AT&T, Unilever) to create a new ratings system that will more accurately measure viewer habits. The current Nielsen system is decades old, and the complaint is that it does not accurately measure the effect that DVRs and broadband are having on viewing habits.

People are not watching less "TV." In fact, they may be watching more when you add in video on demand services like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu. But content developers and advertisers can't really tell from the antiquated Nielsen ratings system.

Design Nine is already working with some of the most innovative and technologically advanced IP TV service providers in the country. Firms like Cisco are building sophisticated new video on demand head end platforms for providers. Over the next ten years, TV as we know it is going to morph into a much richer, interactive, on-demand service that will blend access to "TV" shows, movies, live performances (e.g. NASCAR races, concerts, etc.), gaming, reality shows, and audience participation format shows like American Idol.

Where will this be available first? Communities with high performance open access broadband networks will have it first, because they have the business model to accommodate these new IP TV providers and the open access networks will have the bandwidth to make them work.

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