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Netflix CEO Hesitant To Fight Cable

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the cowboy-up dept.

Businesses 366

imamac writes "Those who were hopeful that Netflix would bring the fight to the cable companies may be disappointed in the latest comments from their CEO. 'Reed Hastings is pleased with his company's massive growth, but he fears that getting too large will start "an Armageddon" with cable networks.' It's a fight he doesn't think his company could survive."

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366 comments

Translation (3, Funny)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073196)

"Nice little Netflix you got there. Pity if something were to happen to take you down, hmm? Your friend, Comcast"

Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073316)

If Comcast continues to purposely oversell its upstream connection [slashdot.org] so much that Netflix use is crowded out, watch Xfinity Internet customers switch to FiOS or high-end DSL where available.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073360)

Okay, but what happens when the FiOS and DSL outfits do the same thing?

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073408)

Honest people call their congresscritter and demand that internet be considered "common carrier status" and a "utility" that instantly fines comcast high $$$ for their antics.

Trusting the "free market" to do the right thing is for fools.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073450)

No less foolish than trusting your "congresscritter".

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073542)

Hah. I absolutely trust my 'congresscritter' to do exactly what said congresscritter currently believes to in that congresscritter's best interest. Don't you trust yours to do that?

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073732)

Yes, but the market for congresscritters is better than the market for ISPs, the only barrier to entry in the congresscritter market is money (and maybe your eternal soul). Act now and you too can have a congresscritter of your very own!

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073826)

As an atheist I don't have a soul, but will that show up on the soul detector or can I just pretend to have one in order to get what I want?

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (-1, Troll)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073890)

Atheists still have souls, they just don't care what happens to them.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073840)

I'm going to quote Noam Chomsky on this one:

"Government has a flaw that General Electric doesn’t have. The government is potentially democratic. There’s a way of influencing the government and participating in it. I’m not joking, just think about it. When you’re saying that the government is doing this and that and the other thing to us, yes, the government is reflecting the interests of the people in it, but they could be representing us - there is no way for private tyrannies to be representing us. So yes, they would like you to hate the government. There is a lot wrong with the government, there is a lot to be hated about it, there is a lot to be changed about it. But the main thing about it is you can participate in it. And there are ways of changing what it does, and therefore, for at least people who believe in democracy, gives us advantages that other systems of powers don’t have. It is potentially our system of power, and the private corporations aren’t."

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073778)

What is free market about the current way that cable and internet are done in the US?
Is it the part where local governments give out monopolies to specific companies?
Because it does not sound like free market to me.\
A free market has choices. A free market is not defined by the statement, "Take ours or have nothing bitch.".

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073456)

Okay, but what happens when the FiOS and DSL outfits do the same thing?

According to the capitalistic idology that should not happen.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073688)

How? I thought that under capitalism, in an industry with high entry barriers such as last mile telecommunications, it was most profitable for the producers of a good to enter into a cartel.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073618)

It is still a danger, but on the other hand FiOS and DSL both have a reason to support rather then oppose netflix. Cable's main hatred of netflix isn't the bandwidth usage as they claim, but the fact that it directly competes with cable TV. Alternative internet providers biggest disadvantage when competing against cable in the home market, is that cable bundles cableTV with internet. If cable TV were to die off due to failure to adapt to new technology, that would not be a bad thing for alternative providers.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073750)

Okay, but what happens when the FiOS and DSL outfits do the same thing?

Although Verizon can technically oversell FiOS, it won't happen in reality.

The throughput available to the neighborhood concentrators is such that Verizon would have to have 100% of the homes in the neighborhood subscribe to at least 75Mbps download speeds. At 50% uptake it's impossible for Verizon to oversell FiOS download speeds (with currently available packages).

In addition, Verizon does not offer a package with a fast enough upload speed to oversell uploads even with 100% uptake. In the future, there might be some contention on FiOS, but it wouldn't be until you hit speeds of faster than 50Mbps, which is still better than almost any other provider can guarantee.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073452)

I already downgraded from Comcast's "Digital Starter", which ran me over $80 a month *just for TV*.

I'd can the cable internet from them too, if I could, but DSL doesn't represent a cost savings. There's no incentive to switch when, although oversold, DSL offers no speed advantage and no cost advantage.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073822)

I switched because of a teaser $20 a month rate. Uploads are slower and downloads are often slower, but I have found that bit-torrent is much faster on DSL, and while 100MB downloads are slower, GB downloads are faster. The cable connections seems to penalize you after that first couple minutes of speed burst.
FYI

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (2)

Digicaf (48857) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073520)

And watch a lot of them get turned away. The cable companies have been hard at work introducing legislation to greatly limit competition in a lot of areas. Try asking Verizon when FiOS will be available in Tennessee for example. In the entire Memphis area, your choice is pretty much Comcast or Comcast. There is DSL, but its throughput is laughable and the service is highly unreliable, and there is no "high end" DSL to speak of.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073682)

In your poorly wired city? yes.

In my city, my DSL is better than the CableModem from comcast. I get far lower latency and jitter that even a 3Mbps connection blows Comcasts 5mbps cable modem service out of the water. And anything higher is a joke as most websites and services dont have a backbone to support it. Netflix will not stream faster to you if you have 200mbps incoming, you can just stream Netflix in the bathroom, Hulu in the kitchen, and run 20 torrents wide open in the master bedroom and hallway closet. for 90% of the people out there they dont need to do that. only 1 stream at a time as they like being near each other and all watch the TV together.

How do I shot wiring? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073718)

In your poorly wired city? yes.

Then how do you recommend making a city no longer poorly wired? Or instead, do you recommend moving your family to another city?

Re:How do I shot wiring? (2)

pnutjam (523990) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073848)

moving, definitely!

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073702)

The cable companies have been hard at work introducing legislation to greatly limit competition in a lot of areas.

What Google keywords should I try if I want to learn more about this?

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (0)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073746)

What Google keywords should I try if I want to learn more about this?

"Tin Foil Hat" should do nicely. You can also try "What happens if I don't take my medication?"

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073650)

If only AT&T would get off its ass and actually offer us FIOS. In fact, Comcast laid all sorts of Dark Fiber in my city a couple years back, so they are already poised to do FIOS cable if they really wanted. Or .. if my city would go the way I suggest and contract out FIOS deployment to all houses, and run its own switching system and lease FIOS to Comcast and AT&T or whomever.

A guy can dream.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (1)

ChikMag777 (1337235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073800)

If only AT&T would get off its ass and actually offer us FIOS.

FiOS is a Verizon product.

Re:Comcast isn't a monopoly everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073850)

Lately Comcast has become so unreliable that I will switch to almost anything as soon as it's available. I'm using my Verizon phone plan to post this because once again Comcast's internet service is DEAD.

WTF?

Calling customer service is a fucking nightmare.; Yes, I do have a wireless router you illiterate twat, but I've already power-cycled everything and connected directly - with a wire - to that router. Your fucking cable modem isn't even getting signal, how can it be my router?

Re:Translation (2)

creat3d (1489345) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073390)

"Nice little Netflix you got there. Pity if something were to happen to take you down, hmm? Your friend, Comcast"

If you're gonna go that route, sign it "The cable industry".

Re:Translation (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073470)

There are cable companies other than Comcast? I mean, there were 3 or 4 Satellite companies in the 90s, but now they're all DirectTV. Dish Network still plugs, but nobody actually buys their service. Comcast has always been the only CableTV provider in the entire mid-atlantic region, though...

Re:Translation (1)

stephathome (1862868) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073596)

In my area, depending on where you live, it's Cox or Time Warner. No overlap that I know of, so it's still usually no choice between the two.

Re:Translation (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073654)

"Nobody" buys Dish?
My brother has dish. $20 a month, plus an antenna to receive locals. That's a lot cheaper than what Comcast costs.

Re:Translation (1)

muindaur (925372) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073796)

We left Cox Communications(cable) due to another increase in price in our small(pop)/large(land area) town; since they figure they can get away with it. Cox is also setting net policies with caps similar to Comcast.

I've seen Direct TV dishes spring up all over, and once we looked into it noticed the elevation for DISH was terrible up north(barely over the tree line ~200-300 yards away.) So that's likely one reason they don't get as many customers(at least those that LOOK at that information before buying.) We are middle income, but we followed with the lower income people in town. I mean less than $60 a month for much better offerings than the now $70 a month BASIC cable options. To get some of them we would have to spend $150 a month(the decent channels like Nat Geo Cox moved to digital lineups to force upgrades.)

So yeah, I can see the point of "There are other cable companies?" in the way that most are pulling the same crap.

Re:Translation (3, Interesting)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073516)

this isn't about bandwidth and network caps, this is about challenging cable companies where they're most visible.

Cable TV and TV content.

He's right in not going after cable companies in the content field. After all, they and satellite companies are basically subsidizing the content creation with their dues to cable channels(Well, in Comcast's case, they outright own a lot of channels).

Sure, Netflix is venturing into new content, but, I'm pretty sure Comcast isn't seeing that as big of a threat as say, Viacom, who are producing way more shows and run many channels that show up in traditional retail markets.

Plus, even with Netflix's own content, they're not doing live content like news or sports either.

Well (5, Insightful)

The O Rly Factor (1977536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073212)

That could be the result of the fact that we gave the keys to the pipes to the same people who create content to push through those pipes. It's not difficult for them to decide that Netflix's traffic is a conflict of interest, and can be easily choked off.

Re:Well (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073392)

Easy, just sue the cable company for fraud if they do choke it off. Afterall, they advertise themselves as an internet provider, not comcastnet or aolnet, etc provider.

Also, don't they lose common carrier status if they do discriminate, thus are unprotected from copyright suits?

Re:Well (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073454)

I am sure they would lose their common carrier status if they were actually covered by common carrier status, but they are not they are protected by the DMCA safe harbor provisions

Re:Well (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073506)

Good luck with that, especially since now the Supreme Court has ruled that you can be forced to accept arbitration...

Re:Well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073674)

ISPs are not common carriers, will you please quit spouting that?

Re:Well (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073396)

Well we gave HALF the keys to the content providers (Comcast, Cox, cablevision, etc). The other half of the keys went to the phone company (DSL or fiber) which has always acted as a conduit for information flow, not the content generator. This is why I stick with Verizon, because even though it's slower, they won't do any tricks like Comcast would (i.e. blocking hulu or syfy or tnt.tv).

Re:Well (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073898)

That might work with Verizon, but they don't work everywhere. AT&T sells TV over fiber, and has added bandwidth caps that don't apply to their own content.

Re:Well (1)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073438)

all they have to do is not upgrade their internet gateway if they don't have a direct link to Level 3. then all the streaming traffic will saturate it and everything will be unwatchable.

Re:Well (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073488)

to the same people who create content to push through those pipes.

Ahh good, so the rest of us who really aren't interested in said manufactured "content" have nothing to worry about. Poor you - they are going to make you pay through the nose for that Madonna/Pink/Britney/Lady Gaga/Rebecca Black/whoever the flavor of the month is. Oh and remember, version 12 of that old comic book franchise Hollywood has completely destroyed is coming out soon - gotta watch that!

Re:Well (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073660)

The electric industry went through deregulation where the pipes were divided from the generation.....hasn't exactly made it nirvana there, either.

No win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073218)

Of course, now that they know that - they can push NetFlix into oblivion. Why share the pie when you can keep it all for yourselves.

Re:No win... (2)

vell0cet (1055494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073270)

If it came down to it, I wouldn't put it past the cable companies to destroy themselves just to take Netflix down. The cable companies would probably put themselves to the brink of going out of business and only be pulled back by being bailed out by the government.

And at that point, Netflix would be gone and it would be mission accomplished.

Re:No win... (3, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073524)

Next time the government bails a business--any business, I don't care if it's a healthcare provider or an orphanage for puppies or the largest car manufacturer in the world--we should start a riot in DC. Imagine if GM and Chrysler collapsed ... Ford would own the market, but they don't have the capacity. People would still buy Toyota and superior Mazda cars (Mazda way better than Toyota), Volkswagen and Audi, and of course new American car companies would spring up.

Re:No win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073564)

Exactly. These are corporations we are talking about, who exist to make a profit, and for no other reason than that. Giving you charity internet access is not high on their list of priorities.

Please fight the good fight Netflix... (4, Informative)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073236)

This is the first time in my computing history that I like my entertainment service, and don't feel like turning to alternative sources for my movies and tv. So please Netflix, take em to the mat, let us count to 10.

Re:Please fight the good fight Netflix... (4, Insightful)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073368)

Amen.

I think we need to face up to the fact that we will need to make our communications technologies public owned, like the roads. Too much innovation will be hijacked by the greed factor. The good of all the people outweighs the greed of a few corporations. Are we the public going to stand by and be raped by another corporation?

Re:Please fight the good fight Netflix... (3, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073414)

make our communications technologies public owned, like the roads

Water supply would be a better comparison. After all, it is a series of tubes...

Re:Please fight the good fight Netflix... (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073918)

And the last time someone tried to privatize that, there was civil war...

Re:Please fight the good fight Netflix... (-1, Flamebait)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073532)

Ever read Atlas Shrugged?...

Re:Please fight the good fight Netflix... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073700)

Fuck Netflix. At least I can watch Hulu on my non $PROPRIETARY_OS of choice.

Re:Please fight the good fight Netflix... (1)

DrKnark (1536431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073780)

Please, Netflix, extend your service to Europe! Yes, I know this is probably hard due to the policies of studios.. I really miss a service like that over here.

Browser cache (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073276)

Scrape that douchebag

Noooooooo! (5, Insightful)

gbutler69 (910166) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073294)

Netflix, gives me, for the most part, exactly what I want in television watching. I pay a reasonable monthly fee. When I want to watch a movie, there is a selection of B-movies and older classics (I use the term lightly) for me to choose from. No commercials. Nice! I pay my cable/internet bill on-time and regularly. I watch on average 1.25 moviews per day. AS far as I can tell, everyone wins. I'll never go back to straight cable. If netlix dies, I'll throw the TV in the trash and be done with it.

Re:Noooooooo! (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073374)

As far as I can tell, everyone wins.

Cable: "There can only be ONE!"

There can be only NONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073484)

More like they're insisting there can be only NONE. If customers can't get what they want from the cable company themselves or indirectly from streaming services (where the creators still get royalties, though it's probably less than what cable pays) then what's left? Bittorrent. Telling paying customers, "No, we won't sell it to you through that service either," is just a way to tell customers to not be customers.

Re:Noooooooo! (0)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073598)

Netflix is decent but I prefer hulu. It's free (well $15 if you include internet hookup). Like having a VCR to catch shows you missed, but without the hassle. ----- And TV is free too (via antenna). Sometimes there's a one year delay, as is the case with Deadliest Catch or SG Universe, but eventually it moves from Pay TV to Free TV.

>>>If netlix dies, I'll throw the TV in the trash

I won't do that because I like shows & movies too much. But I won't go back to cable either. I'll just wait for the season-set DVDs to come out and rent them. ~$5 rental is cheaper than ~$1000/year comcast hookup. Cable makes little economic sense given the other alternatives available.

DO IT (1)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073298)

Come on, Netflix. You're really the only company in the position to fight big cable and the crappy ISPs. Plus, they're in the interesting position that if they really take this seriously, they'll be on the consumer side of the bandwidth cap\throttling argument. I'd love to see Reed grow a pair and put a large company behind the little guys in a fight that we'd otherwise certainly lose. In a justice system dominated by corporate money, and with an anemic FCC, we the people might actually stand a chance with some corporate money on our side for once.

Re:DO IT (2)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073446)

I agree, but Netflix will need to be a lot bigger to win this fight. Right now they have to play nice or they'll get squeezed out of many markets.

Re:DO IT (5, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073588)

All Netflix needs is the consumer on their side. They have that, already. Just not enough, yet. Right now, it's about 7% of the population with Netflix accounts. When they reach 20%, they'll have the critical consumer support to push those efforts. People will continue to flee cable, because even though there's more great television on now than ever before, it's not worth $1,200-$2,400/yr for it. Especially when the competition can do it for only $96/yr. For that much of a price difference, I think just about everyone can tolerate their content being a year behind.

In the mean time, Netflix is already working on generating their *own* content. They'll be able to sell that content to traditional television/cable networks for a nice up-front price and then after they've run it, he can return it to his own service and make long-term profit from it as content to generate new Netflix viewers. If he burns his bridges with cable before that, he has nowhere to shop that content they're currently spending $100,000,000+ producing.

Also, it's hard to argue with the man's history. In 2006, Mark Zuckerberg was listed in the CNN or Forbes (I forget which) list of "Top Tech Industry People That Don't Matter". Zuckerberg was on that list, because he came too late to the game when Myspace was already the big guy on the block. Then, they listed Reed Hastings a couple pages later, because the world was moving to streaming content and DVDs weren't going to remain relevant.

Five years later, those two "people that don't matter" are the biggest shit on the planet.

Re:DO IT (2)

PRMan (959735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073704)

Actually, Netflix streams about 60% of the content in the US that is streamed. They are getting very big, and scaring the cable companies. Reed Hastings is wise to tread lightly.

colaborate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073302)

Cable companies are providing a hell of a lot of connectivity for folks at home. why not dump their less robust on demand services and make netflix a partner? My former ISP (Frontier) had DSL speeds up to 3 meg in my area. That's lame and sort of sloe for streaming. My local cable company provides a similar priced plan that is about 12-18 meg. I got basic cable too, but never watch it because it looks like poo. I kept the antennae hooked up instead and stream hulu and netflix. I keep the basic cable because it's cheaper than not having it.

Cable doesn't want to admit its VOD is less robust (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073366)

why not dump their less robust on demand services

Two reasons:

  • The cable companies want TV subscribers in the upper subscription tiers, such as Digital Premier as opposed to Digital Starter. They make being in the highest tier a prerequisite for adding any premium channels.
  • The cable companies don't want to admit that Starz On Demand and the like are less robust.

My former ISP (Frontier) had DSL speeds up to 3 meg in my area.

What happened after that? What excuse is Frontier throwing around for why it hasn't rolled out FiOS?

Yay, Osama's dead! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073312)

Now can we please start profiling airline passengers and dispense with this nonsense?

http://yfrog.com/gzlb9nkj [yfrog.com]

Re:Yay, Osama's dead! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073612)

I guess some of the mods are into fondling infants. Doesn't it strike anyone as hypocritical that one government agency hunts down child predators (FBI) while another hires them?

Vertical Integration (4, Insightful)

realxmp (518717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073332)

What it will take for true competitiveness happen here is a regulatory order to have the cable and DSL companies split their content purchasing sides off from their "pipes" business. Whilst they still have vertical integration there is going to be no further incentive for them to compete on usage limits and speeds. What they have today is "fast enough" for web access, email, etc. Their own digital content whilst travelling across the same physical infrastructure does not count toward usage limits.

The problem is that market forces do not work towards efficiency in situations of "natural monopoly". I don't blame Comcast, or AT&T for how they behave, it's only natural and in the interests of their shareholders, however economically they are benefiting from an externality and this must be gradually dealt with.

Re:Vertical Integration (3, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073522)

>>>market forces do not work towards efficiency in situations of "natural monopoly".

I agree with your viewpoint, but Comcast, Cox, et cetera are not "natural" monopolies. They are government-created monopolies. With modern technologies like fiber optics, there's no reason why every home cannot be wired with 50 incoming optical lines (1 cm thick bundle), each one carrying a TV lineup. Then the consumer could choose if they want Comcast or Cox or AppleTV or Verizon and so on.

Water, electricity, sewer are "natural" monopolies due to space limitations (i.e. big fat pipes or poles). CATV has no such limitation and there's no reason for a monopoly to exist.

Re:Vertical Integration (2)

webbiedave (1631473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073686)

What is the government specifically doing then to create these cable monopolies?

Re:Vertical Integration (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073772)

Licensing the right to install said cables exclusively to a single entity for terms of typically 50, 100, or infinity years.

Re:Vertical Integration (3, Interesting)

PRMan (959735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073716)

The monopoly is so that you do not have your streets torn up every week by yet another competitor. People hate construction.

Re:Vertical Integration (2)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073886)

I hate construction, but not NEARLY as much as I hate DSL, cable, and internet monopolies. Do you have any idea how crappy my internet is because of that?

Re:Vertical Integration (3, Insightful)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073888)

With modern technologies like fiber optics, there's no reason why every home cannot be wired with 50 incoming optical lines (1 cm thick bundle), each one carrying a TV lineup.

No reason except the insane and wasteful expense of doing so (You don't think they're all going to let each other use their existing infrastructure do you? Each and every one of those 50 cables will have to have its own hole dug. That or the government will have to force the companies to share the resources, which seems contrary to your point.) When I lived in Lafayette, LA the local government decided to say "fuck you" to Cox and had the local power company lay FIOS (which, by the way, is working out great by all reports, government run and all). Even using the infrastructure they had laid in already it was a multi-year, billion dollar operation. These were people that already had tunnels, right of ways, everything they needed to run power straight to every house in the city and most of the parish, and it still cost them a fortune and took a good long while. How long, and how much would be required for Google or Apple to do it from scratch?

Re:Vertical Integration (4, Insightful)

Telvin_3d (855514) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073906)

No reason why every home cannot be wired with 50 different lines? Really?

If you mean that fiber optics are small enough that it is physically possible for 50 lines to be run to one home, then sure. But that has never really been a barrier to entry.

Who is going to let 50 different companies dig up their yard? Is there room for 50 different switching stations in the neighborhood?

Besides, it's great to say that with smaller technology anyone is free to run their lines. But the real barrier to entry is the need to duplicate what the incumbent companies have built up over half a century before you can offer competition. It's a massive and almost insurmountable barrier to entry. That's why it's a natural monopoly, not the lines to the houses.

Wait for market diversity (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073340)

Netflix just needs to wait a few years for some more streaming companies to get a foothold. Then when the cable companies try to crack down, there will be more than just one company to fight back. It's also a lot easier to get public opinion/lobbyists on your side if an entire industry is the defendant rather than just one company.

Coward (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073646)

I guess maybe you're right, but if he did stand up and force the telecoms hand, it might expose a few more people to the truth of what's really going on.

They should team up with Google (2)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073370)

Neither company is very well served by the way the telecommunications monopolies in the US work. If they teamed up with Google and funded alternate companies and bribed regulators and such, I bet they could create a telecommunications infrastructure that was independent of these monopolies and a whole ton better for everybody.

Re:Bandwidth (1)

hoboroadie (1726896) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073908)

If Google rolled out a small fiber-to-the-curb network and charged a REASONABLE price they could expose the chicanery of our non-providers. It sickens me to see the monetary restriction of technology, particularly when we are in the midst of such a financial decline. I reckon our Fearless Leaders will help the monopolists keep us down until all of our third-world competitors have achieved parity, then they can control (bring down) wages with total impunity. I wouldn't say it's a conspiracy, but it's getting harder and harder to say it isn't.

Re:They should team up with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073914)

bribed regulators

The term is lobbied, they need to lobby regulators. If you call it bribes you'll be thrown under the bus so fast...

He's right. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073424)

Basically instead of having to produce content he's letting cable companies pay up front so cable and network channels produce content and he reaps the benefits later on when the DVDs ship.

Producing content is an expensive and painful business. Why fight the guys who are in essence subsidizing his business plan?

Re:He's right. (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073544)

Well Comcast, Disney, and the other content providers can always choose to go 1970s-BBC on themselves, deleting old content so that it "doesn't compete" with newer content.

Or they could, you know, choose to not release that older content on DVD, thereby preventing Netflix from utilizing their fair rights to buy some copies and loan them out.

(It goes without saying that they could choose not to license it to Netflix for streaming.)

Re:He's right. (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073722)

They already have. Look for Aladdin on Netflix. Deleted.

Re:He's right. (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073592)

Producing content is an expensive and painful business.

Really? Then stop hiring Charlie Sheen and look for cheaper talent. Movies continue to be made for peanuts, you just don't know where to look or refuse to watch something that isn't overproduced and chock full of special effects.

New Peanuts movies? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073632)

Movies continue to be made for peanuts

I don't remember any new feature films based on Peanuts since Bon Voyage [wikipedia.org] in 1980.

Movies continue to be made for peanuts

Got any tips? (Requirement 1: English language.)

Re:He's right. (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073824)

"Producing content is an expensive and painful business. " No it is not.

http://twit.tv/ [twit.tv]

http://www.pioneerone.tv/ [pioneerone.tv]

http://revision3.com/ [revision3.com]

http://www.theonion.com/ [theonion.com] - they make a broadcast "news" show for almost nothing.

Also The daily show and colbert report were dirt cheap before both of them got greedy as hell. John Steward started that show making a GOOD wage but now hew is making an obscene wage.

The costs per episode tv show is complete bullshit and they know it. High quality TV can be made a LOT cheaper and is starting to surface. SciFi channel CLAIMED they were going to do that but they became retarded and only used SAG actors and that instantly drove the price through the roof. Sorry but Charlie Sheen is not worth 1/20th of what he got paid for that really low budget TV show that ended up having expenses that were on par with a TV show like Eureka that has real talent and the cost of prop building and EFX every episode. And the costs for EFX are coming down fast... IF I can make a convincing meteorite hit on my $350.00 computer using a $800.00 program... It's game over. http://www.videocopilot.net/tutorials/meteor_crash_3d_p1/ [videocopilot.net]

I am for paying a good actor a reasonable wage and covering his/her expenses... but getting 7 figures for a movie or a year in a TV series is bullshit. And it's not acting ability that they are paying for. Tom Cruise cant act.

The whole industry needs to be shaken up hard.

Netflix has made one of the classic blunders! (1)

straponego (521991) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073498)

Never provide a media service that delivers what the customers want without a huge hassle or outrageous prices. Customers must be bled for every last cent!

Netflix is an efficient use of available technology in the United States; therefore it must be annihilated.

Rouse? (1)

Suffering Bastard (194752) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073502)

If Reed wishes to avoid an all out confrontation with the cable and content providers, it would make sense that he would speak out against doing so. However, that doesn't mean he isn't still planning on competing. The more he can appear tame and docile, the more cunning the surprise attack will be when he finally unsheathes his weapon. If you give the lion a wide berth and a calm gaze as you circle him, eventually the lion will relax and be unprepared for a lunge from behind.

And he's right too (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073508)

Netflix subscribers: 23 million
Cable TV subscribers: 100 million

Who do you think content producers are going to side with (NBC/Comcast type mergers aside) if push comes to shove? It's just a matter of numbers.

Kind of ironic that the relatively recent push to get TV shows out on DVD as quickly as possible, as well as getting all the old shows out, is probably one of the leading causes of the decline in cable TV. This is what really allowed Netflix, especially Netflix Streaming, to take off. How many of you would be subscribing to Netflix Streaming if it were only movies, and not TV shows as well? I doubt I would; and I guarantee you I'd still be subscribing to Cox.

Networks got a huge profit boost when DVD sales started coming in, but in the long run it may end up doing them more harm than good.

Very smart (1)

Tony Isaac (1301187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073518)

Netflix to Cable: "We're not quite ready to take you out...yet. So we'll leave you alone for now. When we DO decide to take you on, it will be too late for you."

Way to go Netflix, you are playing the game very well. I'm betting on Netflix in this battle.

He's on Microsoft's Board (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073526)

How much boat-rocking could you expect from such a guy?

I'd partner (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073534)

If I was a cable provider, I'd be looking to partner with Netflix. Netflix seems to have figured out video on demand, so I would have them be the official VOD provider for my customers. Netflix would just be an added service on my customers' bills. I'd get a cut every month. And my customers would get the most popular VOD provider.

Re:I'd partner (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073836)

Netflix is charging a flat rate for VOD, while the cable companies want to charge by the view, particularly for their own content. It will be an enormous revenue hit when they give that up, so that is a step they will never willingly take.

seems like a prudent choice (0)

bl8n8r (649187) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073576)

Rule #1 when going up against the mafiaa is to not go up against the mafiaa.

BEND over netflix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073580)

you done now with comments like that. AND when you htink that cable and dsl ISPS are just becoming what you are ...and whining its users fault......for everything including a kitchen sink. YOU should just fold now go away.

Can i trust you all with somehting......Canadian's are thinking of a summer strike against UBB.....think what 2 million times 60$ wold cost them per month let alone up to the 21 million we now have....3-4 months a that can affect change when O'Leary the share holder realizes WHO THE REAL GOD DAMN BOSS IS.

WE THE PEOPLE.

ditch the cable (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073648)

Here's the thing about cable TV:

It's really expensive for the content that most people actually watch.

If you have a good ATSC receiver, you get a SIGNIFICANTLY better looking (less compressed) picture off the antenna for free than you do off the cable for large bucks.

Netflix is, what, $4.99 a month for unlimited streaming, which is not an "introductory offer" that's going to triple in 6 months, and Roku boxes are about $100, a one-time cost, not the monthly rental that the cable companies want you to pay.

"Triple play" packages are not really a very good deal. Minimal phone and internet is less than half the cost of the total package, and you're not paying for content you're not watching. Consider, even HBO and Showtime original series eventually make it onto DVD, and become available on Netflix.

Even with the "triple" discount, our cost went from $135/month to $60/month just by dropping cable and returning the two set-top boxes. Now, they'll tell you that you're paying a (slightly) higher price for phone and internet, but the important thing is that your total bill is down by more than 50%. In a down economy, that's increasingly important.

Get a phone base station that'll pair with your cell, (about $60) and you can even drop the land line and buy internet service only.

Even if netflix gets extinguished, those red boxes at the supermarket are good enough for a significant number of people.

Cable TV is becoming this century's AOL. More and more people are realizing it's a crappy high priced service for shlubs who don't realize that all you really need from them is an internet connection. I think this is why Comcast is trying to leverage their current capital (as did AOL) and branch out now, before the inevitable collapse comes.

Frontier, the company that took over Fios from Verizon in our area, is getting out of the cable TV business. Comcast comes by about twice a month to remind us of that and try to get us to switch, so we can keep our cable TV. But we've already dropped it, and we suspect Frontier has seen the handwriting on the wall.

Don't be afraid of large cable companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073698)

With the rise of Internet video casts anyone can produce and distribute content. Who needs cable companies? Netflix is the future.

Cable companies can take their insane craptastic pricing and crappy lineups and follow the dinosaurs to extinction.

LOL, they won IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36073756)

I canceled cable recently. My primary reason is there is no reason why I am spending $70/mth to have 98% of content I do not want to watch, where as there is always something to watch on Netflix, even if it is slightly out of date.

Between that and the fact I can buy/rent content from Apple TV and a slew of equivalent services, I think the cable companies are in serious need to rethink their strategy moving forward.

Of course Netflix does not want to openly target the cable companies. These are still billion dollar monopolies that have a history of not playing fairly, why anger the giants. The reality, however, is that these giants are naive and arrogant and companies like Netflix will win in the long run even if they try not to compete.

How Much? (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073816)

The only relevant question in business. Mr. Hastings says that he will not sell out, which means his price is very high. However, there is too much money out there hunting too few deals like this, and Netflix's position is too valuable to remain a wildcard. Somebody will make him an offer he cannot refuse. The only question is, "How much?" Investors want to know.

And why not? (1)

killdashnine (651759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36073900)

I've recently had a great discussion with a representative from my Cable company about reducing my bill. Paraphrasing, cutting the TV part of my service actually ends up costing me MORE. Makes sense when you just want to keep bilking customers for crap. With Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other services there's no real need for hundreds of channels of garbage.
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