Don't bet on Mark Cuban making any big investments in mobile. Speaking as a panelist at Media magazine's Future of Media conference today, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks and chairman of HDNet, made it clear he's thinking much bigger-at least in terms of screen size.
Cuban rhapsodized about the giant, four-sided screen hanging above the field in the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium that made its national TV debut last Sunday during the Giants-Dallas game. "You couldn't take your eyes off it and it's what everybody was talking about," he said, arguing that ever-larger screens applied to different uses are the immediate future of media.
What about the decades-long technological march toward smaller, faster, cheaper devices? "That's last century," according to Cuban. Bigger is better, and now, cheaper than ever, as well. "You have to look at what complements what's already ubiquitous," he said. There aren't a lot of 7-story video screens around yet, that's true. Then again, they're hard to fit in your living room.
But the spread of larger, cheaper HD TV screens in homes would also benefit Cuban's HDNet television network. So it's not surprising he's not captivated the rise of the tiny screen via the iPhone and other multimedia devices.
His big-screen bias, though, did get some research-based support from fellow panelist Susan Whiting, vice chair at the Nielsen Company. She pointed out that "people go to the best screen possible" at any given time. Which usually means the biggest screen with the sharpest picture. Maybe Cuban can create one immense screen floating in space that everyone can watch at the same time to solve the fragmentation of media problem. But you'd still have the "Who's got the remote?"problem.