In this age of testy retransmission battles, a remark from a DirecTV executive -- that some low-rated cable networks might be on the outs -- came as no surprise.
Retransmission wars have been eating into TV/video programmers' revenue for some time -- all because big TV networks are selling the point that their viewership is big and valuable.
Derek Chang, executive vice president of content development and strategy for DirecTV, didn't single out any networks, but did say some questions should be asked, perhaps "just to remove certain channels from our platform if they are not relevant."
He might also make a case for those networks that cost satellite, cable, or telco video operators too much, or aren't a big local-advertising-generating machine for cable operators and other video retailers.
What about program diversity, you say? The cable industry, for all its history, has never been a big philanthropic organization in this way.
Increasingly virulent carriage wars that take place between cable operators and all programming networks are only the tip of the iceberg. Soon there'll be outright cancellations of low-rated cable networks.
Press releases will be issued -- that, for example, the Accountant Nose-Hair Network or the Furry Clown Channel is no longer available on their system.
We'll then wait for the usual grass-roots response from a very select group of fans whose efforts will be heroic, but will fail. Cable programmers will then attempt to shift their efforts to the Internet or some other limited digital platform.
Diversity? You've got it on the Internet. Your production facilities will come from the video on your iPhone. Get a few more viewers and soon you'll buy another phone and get Google to send a few ads to your site. In turn, they'll send you a few pennies for those banner messages.
If it seems cruel, ask yourself about those dozen or so, odd broadcast network programs that get immediately canceled or never make it into their second seasons. If they don't draw an audience -- no matter the reason -- they are out.