It doesn't look like that will ever get done via Hulu so, if I'm at NWSA, TWX, CMCSA, DIS and CBS, I come together and devise some type of streaming plan going forward. Call it collusion if you will, but that's just a minor detail. These guys are not stupid. At day's end, they have common goals:
- Preserve and protect the cash cow that is the cable/satellite model;
- Become truly multi-platform because it not only furthers their traction with consumers, but opens up billions in new (or shifted) advertising dollars; and
- Build long-term, impenetrable digital offerings that (A) bring in an end to the presently-disjointed TV Everywhere scheme and (B) halt the dog and pony show of short-term revenue grabs by doing deals with Netflix.
Sometimes they play dumb, but they're not. Most big media executives know the score (read the stuff Jeff Bewkes says, talk to people at HBO). They know they control the content and hold the cards. As they build larger empires -- encompassing everything from the content to networks to delivery systems to actual sports franchises and venues -- the time will arrive to take digital into their own hands, completely, and away from unnecessary third parties.
For somebody like Jeff Bezos at Amazon.com (AMZN) or Tim Cook at Apple, that's a minor bump in the road, but, for Reed Hastings at Netflix, who has hooked his wagon to a one-trick pony and the pipe dream of an original programming powerhouse, it's armageddon.
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