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The Problem With Cable Is Television 334

Saul Hansell writes in the NY Times about how various services offered by cable companies affect their spending and their revenue. As it turns out, a lot of the cost increases and investment needs are coming from television and video services rather than internet connectivity. The scramble for high-def and rising licensing fees for programming seem to be the biggest headaches for Comcast and Time Warner right now. Quoting: "By all accounts, Web video is not currently having any effect on the businesses of the cable companies. Market share is moving among cable, satellite and telephone companies, but the overall number of people subscribing to some sort of pay TV service is rising. (The government's switch to digital over-the-air broadcasts is providing a small stimulus to cable companies.) However, if you remember, it took several years before music labels started to feel any pain from downloads. As the sour economy and the Web start putting more pressure on the cable companies, they may be forced to consider breaking up the big bundles of channels they now insist that consumers buy and instead offer individual channels or smaller groups of channels on an à la carte basis."

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