Internet Video Threat Overrated
Because of bandwidth quality issues and the costs of delivering standard-definition video -- not to mention high-def -- to large audiences, Cuban contends that broadband Internet will not replace TV delivery in the foreseeable future. "It ain't gonna happen anytime soon. Not this year. Not next. Not five years. Not 10 years," he says.
"Want to deliver the Super Bowl or 'American Idol' in HD in real-time to tens of millions of simultaneous viewers? Not in this lifetime without some breakthrough technology that hasn't been invented yet. (DO NOT SEND ME E-MAILS SAYING YOU HAVE THIS. YOU DON'T)."
Cuban notes that his comments don't apply to IPTV. That is, video transmission via "private end-to-end controlled networks like cable or telcos who are using IP delivery of content."
Cuban is spot on with his comments. Broadband is transforming the Internet into a fantastic new video delivery medium, at least for certain types of content. But managed cable, satellite, and telco (someday) networks -- whether they use analog, MPEG, or IP -- will continue to dominate broadcast-quality video delivery for at least the next decade.
Cuban, of course, made his fortune in the Internet audio and video business. He co-founded Broadcast.com in 1995, sold it to Yahoo! four years later, and then bought the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, which nearly won the NBA championships last month. From hoopla to hoops.
It's worth mentioning that Cuban also co-founded HDNet, a national high-def cable TV network. One could argue that his comments on Internet video are simply self-serving. Seems to me that he's simply put his money where his mouth is, so to speak.