Tuned In’s sister blog Techland covers a couple of TV-biz stories with a common, unstated theme: the slow but gradual fading of TV as something you get exclusively through TV networks on a TV set. First, HBO (like TIME, a Time Warner company) is considering offering its programming through other means besides as part of a cable TV package—perhaps “debundled” through cable and satellite providers, perhaps online, perhaps both. Second, Netflix is expanding its TV streaming options with more offerings from Disney/ABC.
It’s not hard to see the first news item at least partly as a reaction to the second, and to other developments: Hulu, iTunes and the phenomenon of “cord-cutting,” i.e., people dropping expensive cable packages in favor of over-the-air HD, online streaming and a la carte downloading. Increasingly, people are going to realize that with the various computer, gaming and mobile devices they have, there’s some redundancy to their ability to get TV—and in times like these, that means you start thinking about what you can cut. HBO can’t be the only one trying to make sure it won’t be them.