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Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:02 PM

Watching TV on web is disrupting cable, broadcast worlds [View all]

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/26/3201660/watching-tv-on-web-is-disrupting.html

Veteran programmer Rob Barnett recently attended a breakfast meeting of television executives where the talk turned, as it almost always does these days, to “disruption,” the industry buzzword for the way new technology is upsetting the TV applecart. From somewhere down the table, he heard a question: “Has anybody here cut the cord?” — that is, dropped cable service in favor of just watching TV through the Internet? Barnett shrugged and raised his hand. “Mine was the only one,” he recalls. “But when it went up, I saw beads of sweat break out on the foreheads of some of the guys across the table.”

When Barnett and 5,000 or so others gather Monday for the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE) convention at the Fontainebleau Hotel on Miami Beach, there will be plenty of sweaty foreheads, some acquisitive smiles and — perhaps most numerous — blank looks of confusion. Not since cable turned the old three-channel TV universe on its head in the late 1970s has the industry been in such a state of disoriented befuddlement.

New technologies that give viewers more say in what they watch, where they watch and how much they pay for it are great for consumers. But they’re inducing a collective nervous breakdown among industry executives, who have to figure out new ways to make money in a business facing serious threats to its traditional sources of revenue — advertising and cable-TV subscriptions....

But the biggest tremors came from the Internet, which is threatening to remake television as thoroughly as it already has the newspaper and music industries, by letting viewers bypass cable to watch shows online.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/26/3201660/watching-tv-on-web-is-disrupting.html#storylink=cpy

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