The future of cable TV

If you are interested in the media and interested in the future — and you wouldn’t be here if you weren’t — then you really must read the series the Nieman Lab is doing on expectations for 2012.

So far, my favorite is by Rex Sorgatz and it won’t make my friends at Time Warner very happy. Wait, I don’t have any friends at Time Warner. Perfect!

Right now, I pay over $200 per month to have 1,600 TV channels pumped into my apartment. How many of those channels do I watch? A dozen, max.

This is clearly broken. Really broken. Stupid broken.

And we all know this has to end, somehow. And we all know it will end, somehow. But no one knows quite how. Maybe it will be fixed by Apple, maybe Hulu, maybe Netflix, maybe Google; probably, by something we haven’t even seen yet. But I think we can all agree that this broken system is going to be fixed, somehow.

And when that happens, the fallout for the LA-based television industry will be catastrophic. It will make the print media collapse of the past decade look like Legos.

I don’t know anyone who is happy with their cable service. Happy that they get channel choices, but not happy that they have to pay so much for what they don’t want and don’t use. (Yes, I know it sounds like newspapers. And you’ve seen what’s happening there.)

Anyway, Sorgatz goes on to describe the upshot of that collapse — a renaissance of creative programming. Read the whole thing. And then get ahead of the curve by reading the others. Most describe a rocky but bright future for journalism.

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