Future of TV

April 11, 2014 • Volume 24, Issue 14
Can traditional television thrive in the Internet Age?
By Peter Katel

Introduction

Peter Larsen (Getty Images/Andrew Burton)
In a recent example of television and the Internet converging, Amazon executive Peter Larsen on April 2 displays Amazon Fire TV, a video-streaming device that allows users to view on their television sets content that is being delivered over the Internet. The new gadget costs $99. Similar devices include Google Chromecast, Roku and Apple TV. (Getty Images/Andrew Burton)

Television viewers increasingly watch their favorite shows on their smartphones, tablets and computers. And TV sets don't even need a broadcast signal anymore: Services such as Netflix are supplying content to screens of all kinds by streaming it over the Internet. The Internet-TV convergence is sparking major changes in the television industry. Debate is raging over a proposal by Comcast, already the country's largest cable TV and high-speed Internet provider, to acquire Time Warner Cable in a $45 billion deal that has raised antitrust concerns. The Supreme Court is expected to decide if the startup firm Aereo can transmit over-the-air television programs to subscribers via the Internet without paying networks for the content. And the steady rise in pay-TV bills is fueling consumer outrage. Industry defenders say viewers are getting more for their money, but some disgruntled viewers are “cutting the cord” on subscriber services — an option becoming more appealing as more programs stream over the Web.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Television
Apr. 11, 2014  Future of TV
Nov. 09, 2012  Indecency on Television
Aug. 27, 2010  Reality TV
Jun. 20, 2008  Transition to Digital TV
Feb. 16, 2007  Television's Future
Mar. 18, 2005  Celebrity Culture
Oct. 29, 1999  Public Broadcasting
Aug. 15, 1997  Children's Television
Dec. 23, 1994  The Future of Television
Mar. 26, 1993  TV Violence
Sep. 18, 1992  Public Broadcasting
Oct. 04, 1991  Pay-Per-View
Feb. 17, 1989  A High-Tech, High-Stakes HDTV Gamble
Dec. 27, 1985  Cable Television Coming of Age
Sep. 07, 1984  New Era in TV Sports
Sep. 24, 1982  Cable TV's Future
Apr. 24, 1981  Public Broadcasting's Uncertain Future
May 09, 1980  Television in the Eighties
Oct. 25, 1972  Public Broadcasting in Britain and America
Mar. 26, 1971  Video Revolution: Cassettes and Recorders
Sep. 09, 1970  Cable Television: The Coming Medium
May 15, 1968  Television and Politics
Mar. 01, 1967  Financing of Educational TV
Dec. 16, 1964  Community Antenna Television
Oct. 21, 1964  Sports on Television
Feb. 28, 1962  Expansion of Educational Television
Aug. 28, 1957  Television in the Schools
Jan. 18, 1957  Movie-TV Competition
Sep. 06, 1955  Television and the 1956 Campaign
May 18, 1954  Educational Television
Sep. 03, 1953  Changing Fortunes of the Movie Business
Apr. 20, 1953  Televising Congress
May 31, 1951  Television in Education
Jan. 26, 1949  Television Boom
Jul. 12, 1944  Television
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Antitrust and Monopolies
Arts and Humanities
Regulation and Legal Issues
Sports and Recreation