Friday, June 22, 2007

Numbed by TV: Your #1 Streaming Source for Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn

Says who? Says! Look up streaming pti or streaming around the horn on Google., ESPN's own streaming broadband video service should be the #1 source I imagine except it's a product that's only available to a handful of people because apparently the only companies they could get to pay them were AT&T and Verizon's DSL broadband services. Unfortunately the difference between Comcast and Time Warner cable companies and these two telcos broadband offerings is probably as vast as the difference between the number of people who visit and the # of people who visit this humble web site.

ESPN360 isn't available to hardly ANYONE, and so it's a worthless product for almost everybody. I think the deal pretty much boiled down to Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Charter, Cablevision laughing when ESPN held out it's hand for a few pennies for this service. The cable companies didn't want to pay extra. So that service is available to Fred and Jack on AT&T and Verizon DSL products, but that's it.

It is a problem because I am already paying more than $100/mo. for cable services (excluding my broadband internet connection) from Comcast. Here's the deal and folks have to get used to it. That's sort of a cap. My monthly cable bill which is now in the neighborhood of $170 – it's not going to go up from here. What's going to happen is I am going to keep getting more for the same amount of money.

It's going to take about 5 years, but by then Steve Jobs will have hopefully taken his little hobby mainstream. The Cable MSO, DirectTV etc are all going to face competition from "internet programming providers". Companies who launch to give you basically the same thing you're already getting only somehow better and less expensive (or realistically the exact same price). The effect of all this is that pricing is capped. If anything I expect what I am paying will be LESS in 5 years. So I don't blame Comcast. I do blame ESPN for being stupid and not going for the maximum distribution. They can figure out how to subsidize the site via advertising. ESPN knows how to sell advertising just fine.

My 5 year vision is a ways off and companies are trying to gouge every drop out of you. For example, Verizon's piece of crap Vcast service costs $14.95 a month. There's some content in VCast, but not nearly as much content as I have on my media center PC. I could switch to AT&T (and the iPhone is coming!) and for $0.00 extra a month have access to everything I can stream off my PC, including live television. I'd probably pay $14.95 a month for that right now.

Verizon must already realize they can't make a dime on VCast and especially as free wifi becomes ubiquitous in major markets, they won't be able to think about selling products like this.

Why on earth would I pay $15/mo to Verizon to stream PTI and ATH to my phone when I can stream it via wifi for free? I wouldn't.

So I'm # 1 on the Google search for Streaming PTI and ESPN itself isn't even in the top 10. I didn't see that coming. I had hoped to be number one with pacific catch iphone ,but I couldn't leapfrog some site called Gizmodo and now TUAW jumped ahead of me, but it's running news that I was not – that Pacific Catch is offering an iPhone calamari special .

If you're in the hood, I still say the chili encrusted calamari at Betelnut is the better way to go.

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