Summary: With the growing prevalence of online video options from sites such as YouTube and My Space, pay-TV companies are coming up with ways to compete and not lose market share to the online providers. "Whether the Internet is a friend or foe depends on what we do," says Steve Burke, COO of Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) chief operating officer. To keep pace with online content providers who offer on-demand viewing, cable TV providers like Time Warner (TWX) have begun offering an HBO-type on demand service that lets customers watch programs they missed in the past 24 hours. Another worry for the cable companies is that online distribution of movies could sidestep them, cutting into the steady revenue stream from on-demand movie fees they have come to expect. Sony Corp. (SNE), for instance, has mulled adding broadband capability onto its high-end high-definition TV sets, allowing consumers to download movies from Sony Pictures directly to their TV sets.
Related links: Full WSJ article • Comcast's Stock Performance Demonstrates the Resilience of the Cable Operators • Diversified Media Stocks: Enterprise Value / EBITDA • Disney and Apple's Movie Success Means Competitors Must Get With the Program • Downloadable Video: Will Anyone Actually Buy It? • Google, Yahoo Testing Cable-TV Model Online -- Where Will it Lead?. Mercury News: How will YouTube make money? • BusinessWeek: Online Video: Tasty Takeover Targets? • Most popular online video sites: YouTube • MSN Video • MySpace
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: Viacom (VIAB), Cablevision (CVC), Apple (AAPL), Google (GOOG), News Corp. (NWS), Yahoo (YHOO), Disney (DIS)
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