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Follow up on Time Warner Cable and Viacoms battle

Broadband Era Sparks Cable/Content Conflicts
by Wendy Davis,

Time Warner Cable and Viacom may have reached a tentative agreement this week but, in the long run, battles between network operators and content companies are bound to intensify as content migrates online.

Viacom channels including MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon came within hours of going dark on Time Warner on New Year's Day. But at midnight, Viacom and Time Warner agreed to a temporary extension and then eventually reached a deal in principle, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The details have yet to emerge, but The Los Angeles Times estimates that Time Warner will pay around $39 million, amounting to a 12% increase, for Viacom's cable channels.

Analysts say that both companies stood to lose money if Viacom shows disappeared from Time Warner homes, as Viacom would lose ad dollars and Time Warner would alienate subscribers.

But, while that's true to a point, in the long run Time Warner stood to lose far more than Viacom because Viacom has another distribution channel at its disposal: the Web. Already, many Viacom programs are available online at sites like MTV.com. As long as there's enough bandwidth to transmit video, there's no downside to Viacom to placing more shows online.

Time Warner, meanwhile, can only lose subscribers as people realize there's no reason to pay for TV shows they can get for free online. Already, there's reason to believe that customers looking to save money are more likely to chop cable from their budgets than Web connections -- which are increasingly viewed as necessities.

Fans Of Film follow up and thoughts to this post
By Michael Palombo
With media distribution moving to the web, somebody needs to be there
to meet-and-greet independent artists of all mediums; to help them
with not just adapting to the web, but guiding them to the right
tools. Somebody has to start creating networks for artists that will
have viable distribution channels, though. Just like a theater has to
be built, so do online theaters; and not just one, but many
representing all genres of content media.

The day of the building a website and paying an SEO company to keep it
on the first page of Google results is coming to an end. Along with
the coming death of DVDs, we can see a new age of content delivery
becoming possible. With media extenders like Boxee and the Xbox Media
Center, the ability to view content from the web on your new HDTV is
possible. As more mainstream content makes it to the web, people will
start building their own online video libraries of films; Films they
may have purchased via download services like iTunes or filesharing
via BitTorrent. The need to purchase a DVD or similar physical media
will fade as people find more value in virtual ownership.

We can't approach the web in a two-dimensional fashion anymore,
either. To keep up with where the web is going, businesses, artists,
filmmakers, are going to have to start going at it from a four dimensional,
to keep up with where the web is going, What I mean by that is fundamental
to business. Social media" community support and involvement in what
your offering, and if your on the web it"s all about social media platforms
like facebook, myspace where people are most likely talking about your
business or film. And the great YouTube that gives you the ability
to put you anywhere on the web to freely promote yourself via video.

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