The Changing Dynamics of Video Programming

Tags: Technology Policy

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Not long ago, the major movie studios could count on multiple revenue streams from a set of predictable actors: movie theatres, subscription cable TV, DVDs, and major TV networks. Increasingly, “over-the-top” Internet-based distribution outlets (think iTunes or Netflix) are upending traditional business strategies and business models, as consumers are demanding content sooner. Just recently, for example, Dreamworks struck a deal with Netflix to provide it with access to its movie library, eschewing HBO in the process. The dynamics of over-the-top video are only starting to take hold, with providers like Hulu still navigating their strategic direction and emerging upstarts like Vdio (founded by some of Skype’s key founders) just getting going.

The changing models of video programming delivery will be felt far and wide. In terms of movie theaters, the question of whether video on demand offers will cannibalize their offerings remains a core concern. Similarly, companies have difficult decisions about whether they can maintain alternative business models that could cannibalize themselves, ranging from whether Fox Broadcasting, for example, wants to own Hulu to whether Netflix will maintain integrated or separate online streaming and DVD rental service offerings. Moreover, as a result of the increasing popularity of Netflix, and the amount of video traffic on the Internet more generally, providers are facing powerful pressures for how to manage this traffic, with implications for the use of content delivery networks, peering arrangements, and the role of private networks with guaranteed quality of service commitments.

At the same time that distribution outlets are changing, the battle over which screens and devices will enable viewing of premium video programming is just beginning. For many viewers, the television remains central, with high definition cementing its place in the home. For others, however, watching programming on laptop computers or tablets (or even smartphones) is becoming increasingly common. For those who rely on TV sets, the role of set-top boxes and the FCC’s promise to act in its “AllVid” proceeding are open questions that can influence the direction of the marketplace. Whereas Apple has revolutionized how media content is consumed in a number of sectors (music, newspapers, and magazines most prominently) its Apple TV product has not transformed how consumers view video content.


  • Phil Weiser
    Hatfield Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School
Panel 1: The Changing Economics of Video Content Delivery and Distribution Arrangements
  • Phil Weiser — Moderator
    Hatfield Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School
  • Jim Packer
    President, Worldwide TV and Digital Distribution, Lionsgate
  • Matt Bond
    Chairman, Content Distribution, NBCUniversal
  • Allan Singer
    Former Senior Vice President, Charter Communications, Inc.
  • Niki Frangos Tuttle
    Partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP
  • Byron Grandy
    Vice President and General Manager, KMGH-TV, Scripps-Howard Broadcasting

Panel 2: The Dynamics of Sports Programming
  • Preston Padden — Moderator
    Senior Fellow, Silicon Flatirons Center
  • Sean Bratches
    Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing, ESPN
  • David Hill
    Senior Executive Vice President, News Corporation
  • Melinda Witmer
    Executive Vice President and Chief Video and Content Officer, Time Warner Cable
  • Pantelis Michalopoulos
    Partner, Steptoe & Johnson LLP
  • David M. Shull
    Senior Vice President, Programming, DISH Network
Panel 3: Emerging Technological Platforms and Market Responses
  • Douglas Sicker — Moderator
    Department Head, Engineering and Public Policy Professor, Engineering & Computer Science
  • Richard Green
    Senior Adjunct Fellow, Silicon Flatirons Center
  • Irv Kalick
    Principal, TV Partnerships, Google
  • Tom Lookabaugh
    Executive Vice President, R&D, CableLabs
  • John Suranyi
    Board Member, Sencore, Inc., Cable and Satellite TV Industry Veteran

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