Technology and processing giant Intel is positioning itself to disrupt the current regime of television distribution as we know of it today, according to The New York Times. The company is looking to provide cable service bundles over the Internet but is being opposed by the current industry giants’, i.e. Comcast, Time Warner, etc., contract deals that discourage the channel from contracting with newcomers by charging them fees for making deals with new providers.
These companies are some of the largest in the data and media industries, providing internet access to millions and entertainment to even more. However, the companies have a history of opposing innovation and stifling growth.
Earlier this year, Time Warner’s Chief Financial Officer Irene Esteves responded negatively to the expansion and improvements that Google was spearheading in the sector of Internet connection speeds. Google has been expanding high-speed fiber (1GB/sec) to metropolitan areas that have expressed interest in the program, the first of which was the pilot for the program in Kansas City. Esteves responded to the news of the program, “We just don’t see the need of delivering that [1GB/sec connection speeds] to consumers.”
Time Warner isn’t alone in its opposition of innovation. Earlier this month, in an opinion piece, Comcast’s executive vice president David L. Cohen wrote, “The issue with such speed [one-gig/sec] is really more about demand than supply.” Cohen continued, “The reality is that the United States is leading the way in speed, reach, and access…”
Currently, the efforts of these companies to provide the best possible service to consumers should be severely suspect. Should Intel succeed in providing what is being coined “over-the-top” media services, the resulting market would encourage competition and that competition would drive down prices for the consumer. It makes sense that the old guard would resist the entrance of a newcomer and seek to prevent such a disruption, but it is regrettable that they do not seem to have the desires or aspirations of the consumer in mind.
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him @Joshual33.