Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Will Netflix Eventually Roll Into Cable TV Packages?

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The corporate battle to entertain people is a tough one. Home entertainment is a huge money making market, with many companies wanting a slice of the pie. There are options for viewers to subscribe to cable TV deals, satellite television, or a service such as Netflix where they can rent DVDs from the comfort of their own home.

With cable TV deals that include more movies, and services such as Netflix offering more television content, the line between the two are becoming blurred. But are the two going to eventually merge into one complete package? At this point in time, the move to combine the two does not seem likely.

Cable Television

In the late 1940s and early 1950s cable television was created in the United States to serve regions that could not receive television signals. According to The Museum of Broadcast Communication by the 1960s cable television had swept the nation. In the beginning, cable television simply retransmitted available programming. But through time, and the availability of more content, cable companies quickly began to offer packages that included original channels and content - like Netflix is starting to do on a very limited basis.

Cable television has evolved over the years, with almost continuous improvements to the services offered, and the changes to regulations. Standard broadcast companies fought against the emergence of cable television, eventually seeing the need to team up with the cable companies for survival.

As technology advanced, the widespread use of VCRs and then DVD players changed how the world was viewing television at home. You could now choose what movies you wanted to see and when. But you had to go to the video store to select them. Netflix emerged in 1997 with the idea that some DVDs were not available in many video rental stores, and many people did not want to purchase the expensive discs.

Offering the convenience of DVD rentals from your own home, many people were interested. Funding Universe shows in the timeline of Netflix how the company evolved from a simple idea of delivering DVDs to homes, into a broad spectrum of services.

The question many people are asking is whether cable and Netflix will merge, as standard broadcasting stations and cable television did. Cable television seemed to overwhelm and encompass smaller broadcast stations, by providing the same content and more. Netflix does offer some services not easily provided by cable companies currently.

Changed Scenario of Cable Television

There are a handful of broadcast companies trying to stay ahead of the curve or trying to become competitive through agreements with some of the big names in entertainment and movie industry. Records on tln.net show that in 2010 Netflix contracted with Relativity Media to offer content from their library before HBO or Showtime could. This was the first time either of those stations had outside competition. But Netflix continues to sign deals that give them an edge. They have just signed a contract with Disney that will give them exclusive streaming rights. This content was traditionally only available through cable TV deals.

Progress in technology continues to offer new and better ways to view media. It is yet to be seen if Netflix will be able to maintain their standing in the home entertainment market. Or will the battle become too hard to fight against cable companies that have already won so many battles and survived, evolved upward, and prospered? Time will tell if the cable tv deals offered will eventually bring Netflix into the fold, making it another service available.
Do let us know your views on this.


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