Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Media Deflation: Why Mark Cuban is Wrong

In a post that caused a bit of a stir this weekend, Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas mavericks, HDNet and god knows what else, argues that good TV content is not going to migrate online and be available for free.

Cuban's right in the sense that no producer who gets paid for his content through pay-TV subscriptions (i.e., cable TV networks get a piece of the monthly fee you pay the cable companies) is in a hurry to destroy that business model.

But what Cuban seems to ignore or gloss over is the fact that a lot of stuff people like is available online for free. Inevitably, this will place pressure on pay-TV and on traditional TV producers.

It may be that we'll find ourselves in a world where there's not enough money to pay for the kinds of TV programming we take for granted today. But in a world where people spend their evenings facebook-ing and youtube-ing the night away, perhaps no one will notice.

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