By the same token, we hear constant rumblings about more consolidation among cable operators -- such as the fourth largest, Charter Communications, merging with either the third largest, Cox Communications, or the second largest,Time Warner.
Dish Network was already nixed out of a deal to buy Sprint Nextel so it could expand beyond its largely TV/video business. But you can be sure Dish Chairman/CEO Charles Ergen is already thinking of the next big move.
DirecTV, meanwhile, made an aggressive bid to buy Hulu and Hulu Plus. But then Hulu’s TV network owners decided to hold on to Hulu, at least for a little while longer.
Like cable operators, satellite TV distributors are feeling the pinch of slower growing video customers. But unlike cable operators, they don’t have the luxury of looking at such younger and still-growing businesses like broadband and telephony.
What both cable operators and satellite TV companies don’t want happening to them is what’s happened to big newspaper companies like the Washington Post -- being sold for seemingly tiny sums.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos paid $250 million in cash for the Post. Not that long ago, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. bought The Wall Street Journal for $5 billion and Sam Zell shelled out billions for a media company that included the Chicago Tribune.
Cable operators seem to have more flexibility than other media distributors. James Dolan, President/CEP of Cablevision Systems, has mused about the day cable operators might leave the TV programming and network business behind and still be successful.