If the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger is approved, the combined company’s footprint will pass over 60 percent of U.S. broadband households, after the proposed divestiture, with most of those homes having Comcast as the only option for truly high-speed broadband. As DSL fades in favor of cable Internet, Comcast could control high-speed broadband to the majority of American homes. Comcast is already dominant enough to be able to capture unprecedented fees from transit providers and services such as Netflix. The combined company would possess even more anti- competitive leverage to charge arbitrary interconnection tolls for access to their customers. For this reason, Netflix opposes this merger.
Intel just sold its unreleased television service to Verizon. TiVo just shuttered its hardware business. Google TV flopped. Boxee sold out. Aereo keeps getting sued. Roku keeps trying new things. Netflix keeps spending wildly. Amazon more wildly still. And where on Earth is that Apple television?
Where’s the future of television we’ve been promised every year for the past decade? It always seems to be coming “next year”. And I have a hunch that 2014 may be no different.
Here’s the thing: there isn’t actually a technology problem in this space. That is, while the current solutions offered by the cable providers mainly suck, they suck because they can suck. Big Cable is holding all the cards. And they know it.
I’ve long had a love affair with Netflix. But perhaps more so than any other service, the relationship has changed over time. Not in a bad way, necessarily — it’s just different. And it’s different, because Netflix is different. It’s a service that keeps re-inventing itself.
That should be obvious to anyone paying attention. But it took this post by Felix Salmon to point out the obvious to me: in its transition to full-on streaming, Netflix is no longer about movies.
Said another way: Netflix has ramped up the “net” and wound down the “flix”.