Operators Urged To Focus On Broadband, Not STB

Pay TV operators are stuck in between a rock and hard place. Does it make sense to keep fighting for set-top-boxes, or embrace the FCC’s application-based “unlock the box” plan?
According to one industry analyst for The Diffusion Group, the choice is clear: Embrace broadband.

“The Internet has eaten TV,” explained analyst Joel Espelien. He added that the industry needs to change its perspective on streaming video in order to survive. Having access to broadband is more important than being able to tune into a TV program. In fact, TV has become more of an option than a necessity. And this is why it’s failing to generate the profits that it once did.
“Once the issue is framed in this way, the status quo treatment of STBs has already lost,” he stated. ”Forcing the user to lease a proprietary hardware device (i.e., a legacy MVPD STB) in order to access a particular content type is anachronistic, if not ludicrous.”

Of course, we’re not saying that you should follow his advice. Your business model should be based on the needs of your customers. Only you and your team members can decide which route to take. But it’s a clear indication that the television industry is divided in terms of how to proceed.

As we mentioned in a recent post, we are still waiting on a final ruling regarding the FCC and its “unlock the box” initiative. But it’s important to have a few different plans in place, so that you won’t be caught off guard if regulations change in the coming months.

What are your thoughts? Are you willing to focus on broadband over hardware?