“It is real now,” exclaims Todd Juenger, Vice President, Senior Analyst, US Media, for Sanford C. Bernstein. Speaking at the 2017 Independent Show, Juenger explains that by 2023 that, on average, video programming will be a zero-margin business and that this is already a reality in some cases for smaller operators. He suggests that this could present a turning point in negotiations between content owners and distributors. Juenger suggests that broadcast retransmission has a slightly different dynamic in that they started from a lower-base and that a free alternative (e.g. off-air antenna) exists.
He also talks about the category of so-called cord-nevers (e.g. those who have never subscribed to cable) and how on-demand video services (e.g. Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, etc.) satisfy their video cravings. Although he doesn’t hold out much hope for attracting the cord-nevers with traditional linear programming, he indicates that the good news for operators is that, “cord-nevers need more than air to breathe, is broadband”.
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