With the Federal Communications Commission delaying their vote to “unlock the box,” the pressure is still on for Pay TV providers to make a decision about how they’ll take action on delivering TV services in today’s market. Thus, leaving the outcome up for continued discussion and postulation.
Though cable giants and their industry groups are aggressively lobbying Congress against the FCC’s proposal on doing away with legacy systems, large operators like Comcast and Dish have the means to transition without disrupting their current business. However, small- to mid-sized operators don’t have the same luxury and will face discouraging capital costs to evolve or “else.” The cost of investing in this change for small to mid-sized operators can be overwhelming, but there are alternatives.
Recently, we published a white paper that reveals the mounting pressures the regulatory environment is putting on Pay TV providers, and highlights just how third party OTT providers can continue to stay in the game.
The way we see it, with new IP unicast systems in place, Pay TV providers are able to reach customers that were once unserviceable due to low bandwidth network and provide new value added services like catch-up TV, network DVR, social integration and recommendations. This actually allows operators to live up to the fast changing industry and provide a rich in-home TV experience -- without the capital costs.
In order for small to mid-sized operators to be amongst the next generation of TV service providers, they will simply have to move away from the STB eventually, not only because it’s smart for their business but it actually creates an opportunity to play with the ‘big boys’ without having to invest in building an entire, in-house ecosystem to make that happen. As the rise of innovation and personalization is being fueled by the industry (including advancements of OTT platforms) and raised by consumers, it’s time for everyone to take matters into their own hands and create their own fate. No set-top box? No problem!
As cable companies continue to lose subscribers to cord-cutters, there will be an imminent shift to IP-based TV delivery that allows end users to have TV any time and place, and on any device.
--Bill Routt is the chief operating officer of MobiTV