Mark Cuban: Contrarian On The TV Business

Mark CubanImage via WikipediaI love following the VCs I follow in the blogosphere, but I wish my list was more tilted towards entrepreneurs. The problem is the top entrepreneurs don't blog. Mark Cuban is an exception. He does blog. And the guy sure is opinionated.

I think Mark Cuban just told me the people who added smarts to the phone are going to have a much harder time doing the same to TV. I don't think his stand is definitive. But his stand does give me a glimpse into the complexity of the landscape. Mark Cuban of fame. I remember when they got bought by Yahoo. I was doing some preliminary work on a dot com that went on to do really well, for two years.

Mark Cuban: The TV Business Keeps Getting Stronger!
We had a policy that we never tried to create hits. That we were always going to go wide and create a reason for people to start watching video online. 17 years later. Yep, its been 17 years since we started (as first), Youtube and others are still doing the exact same thing. ...... Good for them ! Except they are making one huge fundamental mistake, they are trying to create hits. They don’t like the idea that beyond a steady stream of 1 hit wonders they haven’t been able to create a sustainable roadmap to content success. In other words, they have no idea how to drive an audience to specific content. Their hits come out of nowhere. ...... viewing for cable networks has skyrocketed and the amount of traditional tv watched has continued to increase. ..... used to be that only movie companies got output deals ..... Today, TV shows are getting output deals and generating lots of revenue across all the different platforms that show TV shows. Its not just syndication,but those online distributors want to make sure they get the best shows and they are committing up front to buy those shows. An output deal. Found money. ...... The TV business isn’t dead. It really isn’t even morphing. Sure people will watch video online. They will watch it on phones. They will download it. But the videos that online distributors pay the most for will be those that have done the best on traditional TV. Which in turn means more money for the production of shows. ...... Online video is to TV today like DVDs were to Movies in the past. A great revenue source that correlated to the movie’s boxoffice. ...... having to hit the internet button on the remote, or even worse, the input button on the remote will not be the path of least resistance for watching tv. Believe it or not, it will be far too much hassle for most people when compared to just turning on and watching TV the old fashioned way. And on top of that, distributors like Dish, Directv, Charter, Comcast, etc are working hard to improve their guide experiences which will be faster and easier than their online counterparts....... last but not least, MOCA, DLNA and good old fashioned wi fi is always going to be a hassle. No one has perfect wi fi at their apartment or house. It always screws up.
(1) TV shows are high quality stuff. Not just anyone can produce them. People like them.
(2) Video is content king. People like consuming content in video format. Much faster broadband might stand a chance but not the broadband we know. The Internet pipes just are not there yet.
(3) Ease of use is supreme. People want to be able to just turn on and watch. No browse and click.

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