Netflix has had some customer problems of late because of interruptions to its video content streaming. The deal with Comcast essentially gets rid of the “middlemen” companies that throttle broadband traffic.
Especially with the recent Federal court decision that supposedly spelled the end of net neutrality, consumers will now be asking a new important question to their Internet providers: “Do I have a smoother and faster ‘direct’ connection?” Advertisers on the likes of Hulu and individual TV network sites -- who don’t want to see their messages “buffered” or delayed --- might be asking that question as well.
Do traditional platforms like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox have to worry about such stuff? Hardly. When this becomes an issue, consumers will be able to blame their cable or satellite companies.
The situation will get a big more complicated when the likes of Comcast start to fully deploy set-top boxes running over-the-top services like Netflix, which will then compete with networks like HBO.
In this regard, Comcast might view the Netflix deal in a different vein versus other programmer/content deals it might make.
“Ironically, OTT providers are likely to become a source of revenue for distributors rather than a threat, opposite to the conventional wisdom,” Kannan Venkateshwar, equity analyst at Barclays, says.
Figuring out the “threats” from the “competitors” and from the “frienemies” will only get harder. But if Comcast has figured out a new revenue stream, the only thing that matters is that it’s a media company winning some big games.