The Haves and the Have Nots
I was watching television last night, rather sleepily, but watching nonetheless. It was the summer finale of one my wife's favorite shows - Rizzoli and Isles. Several times during the commercial breaks, TNT was touting its online video streaming service where you can watch your favorite TNT shows anytime, anywhere on your iPad, iPhone and laptop. The commercials were quite amusing and I was very interested in the service.
So today I go to check out the app on the iPhone only to discover that you must, once again, be a subscriber to a "major" cable provider. When attempting to watch any of the full length shows, you must log in. Step one - select your provider. The options are: AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Suddenlink and Verizon. Managing an independent cable provider myself, this struck me right between the eyes - pretty much the same way when I talked with HBO and found out their requirements were so stringent that smaller systems didn't have a chance to sign on and offer the HBO GO service to their customers.
The more I've thought about this situation, the more it reminds me of the great digital divide - that barren wasteland that divides those that have access to broadband and those that do not. Granted, that divide is no where near the size it was say, five years ago. However, it does still exist (I know this because I have a real estate owner that wants service to his tenants and the cost of building to him is just astronomical for us). But it seems that this specific problem is rearing its ugly head again, except this time it's not the case of no service provider, it's the case of the wrong service provider. Oddly enough, our direct competition in the way of Mediacom isn't listed as well and they are a regional cable provider.Continued on the next page