If Cable Dies

Max Fisher looks ahead:

It's not hard to foresee a day when Americans come home and, using an Internet TV system that would probably look a lot like your DVR menu, queue up the latest situation comedy or key in to a live news broadcast. Maybe shows will have traditional ads, maybe they'll be ad free but cost a dollar each, or maybe viewers will get to choose. But payment model would be just the beginning of the changes. Networks, no longer forced to fill exactly 24 hours of daily programming, would act more like movie studios, releasing as many or as few titles as they wished. High-quality shows would prosper as networks dropped the unneeded filler. The market would open up to anyone with a camera and a server host, inviting a flood of independent TV shows produced on a shoestring by directors with broad creative license.