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Satellite TV – How Soon Before It's In the Smithsonian?

Published: January 9, 2008

Author: David Rodnitzky

Is it just me or is the demise of satellite TV only a few years away? With the increased speed of high-speed Internet, it seems like it will soon be very easy to stream all TV shows directly from the Internet to your TV.

If that’s the case, that would mean that we could watch any TV channel from anywhere in the world through the Internet. We could watch it anytime, we could watch it on our TV or our mobile phone, and we wouldn’t be beholden to a cable company or satellite company.

Well, actually let me restate that – I’m sure the cable companies will find a way to buy up all the ISPs and still force up to subscribe to channels in packages, but that still leaves satellite providers out in the cold.

You could argue, of course, that there will still be plenty of people who won’t have fast enough broadband to rely on it for their TV, or live in areas where broadband isn’t available at all. That may be so, but that’s a dangerous business proposition if you are trying to run a satellite company. It’s sort of like selling typewriters in 1980 – it’s only a matter of time before the PC steals away every one of your customers.

I note that the market cap for Direct TV is currently $25 billion, and Echostar (owner of the Dish Network) is $14 billion. $39 billion of market cap – about the same market cap as eBay – for an industry that is destined for destruction.

Sometimes I wish I knew how to short stocks.

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