TV and Internet: An arranged marriage

Jan. 4, 2011 at 1:59 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- How U.S. consumers view television is likely to undergo a definitive change in 2011, industry analysts said.

Think of it as this: It is always greener on the other side of the microchip. Television producers are scrambling to find a way to incorporate Internet-related content onto their shows, while Internet companies, such as Google, are in a race to figure out how to make use of the biggest viewing screen in the house: the television set.

"It's going to be a fundamentally big transition. You'll see unparalleled choice, from the standpoint of the consumer," Jason Kilar, chief executive officer of online video Web site Hulu, told the Los Angeles Times.

Phil Wiser, co-founder and president of Sezmi, already a bi-medium company, said 2011 was the year the marriage of the Internet and traditional television would become "obvious" to most consumers, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

Analysts said cable television providers would be the ones most hurt by the squeeze, as millions of consumers "cut the cord," as the Times defined it, giving up their cable subscriptions in favor of the Internet, which is cheaper.

Downstream this: "You'll start to see a lot of conflict between the ambitions of the connected-device manufacturers and the ambitions of the cable operators," said Arash Amel, digital media analyst for researcher IHS Screen Digest

"You'll see a lot of movement to prevent that from happening."

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