TVBizwire

Growing Threat to Pay TV Subscriptions Seen in 2011 as New Internet-Connected Devices Hit Market LA Times

With a wave of new television-viewing devices--from Internet-capable TV sets to tablet computers--coming to market this year, more consumers might take the step that cable and satellite companies dread: cutting their subscriptions in favor of cheaper Web alternatives, report Dawn C. Chmielewski and David Sarno in the Los Angeles Times.

Many new Web-connected TVs will be shown this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and the article notes that almost every manufacturer is expected to show a Web-capable TV set at the event. A host of iPad rivals will also be shown, including new devices from Hewlett Packard and Microsoft, that will allow consumers to watch TV shows and movies downloaded from the Internet.

"You'll start to see a lot of conflict between the ambitions of the connected-device manufacturers and the ambitions of the cable operators," said IHS Screen Digest digital media analyst Arash Amel. "Connected TV is a direct threat to [pay TV distributors such as] Comcast. You'll see a lot of movement to prevent that from happening."