Originally Posted by Drek
Declining user base, more competition from non-traditional sources, no way to dictate terms because not enough of them own enough of the content.
Netflix's CEO has said his goal is for Netflix to become HBO before HBO becomes Netflix. He outbid them for House of Cards to that end. So if Netflix does hit a few original programming home runs how long can Time Warner keep HBO behind their walled garden while Netflix gains mind share? Amazon is now pursuing more digital content to attack Netflix as well. Hulu Plus exists specifically to try out different business models for content providers.
Eventually content providers will find the right model to sell to their customers directly and take the middleman that is cable/satellite out of the equation for all but the most rural of customers. That model is likely going to arrive within the next several years and its all downhill for cable from there. Middlemen never survive too long, the middleman cable company is about to face that reality.
The strength of any cable company these days is its high speed internet service. So if your talking about video programming you are on to something, but I think it a bit premature. The a la cart possibility is still many, many years away. If there was an a la cart service, how would new channels survive? If not packaged in a bundle, they would never make it. I'm sure something will give and a revolution will begin sometime, but so called middlemen worth billions don't just disappear. They will adapt.