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Hulu, Netflix Only Make Cable TV Stronger

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A moment of clarity: I never said the present cable model is fair; I'm just saying it's not going anywhere anytime soon. That's the sentiment I thought I expressed earlier this week in HBO Hates Netflix (And You Should Too). But, based on the cards and letters I received, some cats didn't take it that way.

I forget who it was (forgive me, I read hundreds of articles a day and forget to Pocket all of the worthwhile ones), but somebody wrote that if cable and satellite let you pick and choose channels instead of buying a package of 200, most of which you never watch, you would end up paying as much, if not more than you do now.

One hundred percent spot on. In this menage a trois you persuaded her into having, you do not want to role play as the cable company. Sure, they fleece the consumer, but that's only because the content owners fleece them. Don't ask to bear their cost.

But, let's just say mass intuition has it right for once and blowing up the cable/satellite model would be good for humanity.

Deja vu ... that's not going to happen.

The experience of every single company that licenses digital content proves this.

Hulu is fixing to die. And it's not simply because Jason Kilar, the company's CEO, resigned. That's just a symptom of a larger disease called Hulu Has No Future.

For a while, I walked around with this pipe dream that the old guard -- News Corp (NWSA), Time Warner (TWX), Disney (DIS) and others -- would make the forward-looking move and turn Hulu into a kick-butt one-stop-shop for any and all content.

If it wasn't obvious before, it is now. Big media could make it happen tomorrow, but they absolutely refuse to because doing so means the end of the television model that makes them not just rich, but carefree.

That model works like this: I am a programmer. I own a bunch of networks. People love one or two of them. Or maybe they just love one or two shows on one of them.

Or, better yet, I have the rights -- for the next decade -- to key professional sports content. I force the cable or satellite company to take the networks nobody watches -- and pay for them -- just so they have access to the stuff people actually like. The consumer pays for the package, but probably doesn't come close to using it all.

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