Yesterday in the last session of the day at SXSW Mark Cuban and Avner Ronen had what I consider to be one of the better debates of the show so far. While it was a bit over the top and some ego’s in play, both made great points about the future of how we are going to be consuming media from traditional broadcast sources. Mark contends that the web in it’s current state cannot support large segment of subscribers getting there HD content via an IP connection which is probably true. Avner contends that the younger generation wants their traditional content via Internet.
From Mark’s comments it is obvious that the only way he would make HDNet available on the net is by guaranteeing 500,000 subscribers a month and the entity would have to pay base card rates for the right to get the content aka $2.00 to $3.00 per subscriber.
Mark feels the Ala Carte model will never scale and doubtful that companies like ESPN would make their programming available anytime soon to companies that would like to make it available to consumers on the net.
I will have a much more detailed commentary and sound bites on my next podcast because the breadth of the conversation was pretty wide.