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Columnist: TV As We Know It is Dead

The traditional television business right now is akin to the newspaper business six or so years ago, reports Silicon Alley Insider columnist Henry Blodget: In denial about its long-term fate.

Blodget envisions an all-Web distribution model no more than 5-10 years away–a world where good content creators still thrive, and traditional distributors are cut out of the equation.

He writes of TV’s current perspective:

Stop calling us dinosaurs: We get digital; We’re growing our digital businesses; We’re investing in digital platforms; People still recall ads even when they fast-foward through them on DVRs; There’s no subtitute for TV ads.  And traditional TV isn’t going away: Just look at our revenue and profits!

After saying all this same stuff for years, the newspaper industry figured out the hard way that, eventually, reality intrudes, that you can’t stuff the genie back in the bottle.  And over the next 5-10 years, the TV industry will figure this out, too. 

Here’s the problem in a nutshell:

As with print-based media, Internet-based distribution generates only a tiny fraction of the revenue and profit that today’s incumbent cable, broadcast, and satellite distribution models do.  As Internet-based distribution gains steam, therefore, most TV industry incumbents will no longer be able to support their existing cost structures.

It’s an interesting read.