The Real Fight Over Fake News

What You Should Have Read, May 29, 2008

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The Real Fight Over Fake News

The New York Times Bits blogger Saul Hansell notes that cable operators are none too happy that some cable networks (ahem, Viacom, USA, TBS) are starting to stream full length shows online. "The Daily Show," for instance, is a bellwether for the evolution of Internet video. It is also one of those programs that signify for people why they pay so much money for cable. Until recently, few of the main made-for-cable programs have been available to watch in full over the web, even as broadcast networks have started streaming full episodes of most of their shows. The reason is that cable and satellite systems pay large fees to networks for what they have seen as exclusive rights to their content. (Their deals with broadcast networks are less restrictive.) When Glenn Britt, CEO of Time Warner Cable, was asked recently how he feels about the cable networks putting more content online, he said "Guess what? We do mind." Webcasting a program the same day it is broadcast, "will erode your other business model," Mr. Britt said at the Cable Show in New Orleans earlier this month. If this happens, he said, "we have to intervene at some point."
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