Why so Sad?

Posted on November 27, 2010


In the last post, we got a preview of the digital threats toward TV.  Although TV is putting up a fight in the entertainment sector, it’s the news arena that’s having trouble.  Obviously you can TiVo an episode of the Daily Show, but it wouldn’t make much sense to do the same with last night’s 5 o’clock news.  News is timely and it’s more valuable in real-time because it’s constantly being updated.

TiVo has reported a loss of $20.6 million–more than 3 times their loss last year.  TiVo’s CEO, Tom Rogers, said it was due to lawsuits concerning AT&T and Verizon infringing on three of it’s DVR technology patents, like “time warp.”  And to prevent further losses, they’ve been cutting the cost of the DVRs by $200 in addition to having a $12.99 to $19.99 monthly fee.

Now, just when TV thought it had a chance to recover, 12 TV broadcasters decided to venture on live mobile TV on specially equipped mobile TV devices.   The broadcasters formed the group Mobile Content Venture (MCV), which includes Fox and NBC, among others.  The content broadcasted will include news.  The devices have not developed yet, but MCV hopes to have it out to consumers by second half  of 2011 and available in 20 metropolitan areas including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.

It’s hard to tell if these broadcasters want to compete with mobile apps or join them.  But that’s how business works.  The technology is here and we are in a digital-driven era.

Is it almost time to say, “arrivederci” to our big-screens and recorders? By this time next year will there be mobile TV’s? Well it may sound pretty funny, but it’s not a laughing matter.