Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some Early Christmas Presents

christmas presents

Two subjects which have recurred during the past year on this blog are the “Save Local TV” campaign and “Climate Change”.

Regular readers will know that both give rise to a great deal of scepticism on my part. So I wanted to pass on a couple of news items that crossed my desk today which seem to indicate that solutions to both are at hand.

First, according to the Wall Street Journal, CBS and Disney are both close to final agreement with iTunes to allow you to subscribe to both networks for internet delivery. First indications of how all this would work are that a monthly fee would allow you access network programs at the time of broadcast and ad free.

If the deal is consummated, other broadcast networks are expected to immediately follow suit.

No more need to subscribe to a specific channel (or more accurately the bundle of channels in which they are sold to Canadian cable subscribers) just to get the handful of programs you actually watch on it.

And perhaps more importantly, no need to pay a carriage fee to see those shows on a Canadian re-broadcast system like CTV or Global or Rogers or even the specialty channels they own that purchase from the likes of Disney.

In other words, in order to “Save Local TV” (if that’s what these guys really want to do) they’ll have to begin to produce programming that their current subscribers can’t get from iTunes, most likely at a competitive or better rate.

Don’t have one of the many, many products coming online to transfer these shows from the net directly to your High-Def television? That’s not a problem either. All it takes is an HDMI cable linking your computer to your TV. And they go for as little as $10.00.

Meanwhile, in the wake of the debacle that was Copenhagen, comes news that instead of hundreds of Billions of dollars in traded carbon credits or direct payments from developed countries to those which are not; the whole thing might be solved with a hose, some balloons and as little as 250 Million bucks.

According to Nathan Myhrvold, a former tech officer for Microsoft, all’s we need to do is run a hose up to the stratosphere with balloons and then pump out enough sulphur particles to dim the sun's heat just enough to counteract the effects of global warming.

Now, take this with a grain of salt. Just because the guy used to work for Microsoft doesn’t mean he’s really smart. He could’ve been the one who came up with the “Me” operating system or those ads for Windows 7. However, he’s pretty sure there won’t be any unintended consequences, like say starting a new Ice Age.

Phew! I’m glad those things are taken care of. Because I’m sure tired of writing about them.


Anonymous said...

I must admit that I want the "purchase just the channel you want to watch idea" to come to fruition before the balloon idea does.

Since I'm essentially paying $100 a month to watch 5 channels, it would actually be the best Christmas present ever!

rick mcginnis said...

If Myhrovld's brilliant idea involves a whole winter of days like last week's bone-shattering below-zero temperatures, then I'm out. Let the warmening begin!

So I'm assuming that this new iTunes content deal means that Apple has finally found a way to sell their up-till-now-useless AppleTV boxes?

Cunningham said...

And let's not forget they are starting actually publish ad revenue figures for the likes of Hulu, YouTube et al...


The idea being you could conceivably build your own damn network and tell broadcasters you don't NEED their input. Remember gang, they need you more than you need them.

Merry Christmas.

Mark Mayerson said...

Just like Hulu is not available in Canada and the Comedy Central website blocks you and points to the Comedy Network site, you can bet that the iTunes system will block Canadians so long as CTV and Global are willing to pay money for U.S. programming.