With Internet video gaining popularity, pay-TV companies are pondering a future in which they will have to share the spotlight with online video providers.
Video in all forms including first-run movies and television shows as well as consumer-produced snippets are cropping up online at sites such as Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes, YouTube and News Corp.’s MySpace. Although people are still watching TV, it could be a different story if viewers start cutting back on their cable and satellite-TV subscriptions.
In response, the cable companies are bulking up their video-on-demand offerings, putting more content online themselves and providing ways for advertisers to better target audiences. “Whether the Internet is a friend or foe depends on what we do,” Steve Burke, Comcast Corp. chief operating officer, said at an investor conference last week.