Should cable companies be worried that WealthTV, a cable channel, has decided to be available on set-top box Roku? The upfront answer may be “yes,” but a deeper look shows that cable companies shouldn’t be shaking in their boots just yet.
Now make no mistake, the deal is huge for Roku, especially with all the competition it’s facing from similar services Boxee, Vudu and Apple TV. The service also allows for 24/7 streaming payment authorization which makes it much more usable and attractive to users as well as cable channels who might be thinking of joining the movement.
While this may be a win for Roku, it shouldn’t worry the cable companies at this point. The number of cable channels available on these set-top boxes is limited – it’s usually just shows that are available for a price – and, at $3 a month, it’s expensive. If the average cable package costs around $60, that’s only 20 channels rather than the over 100 many of these cable providers offer. It’s also more likely that premier cable channels, like ESPN or Comedy Central, would charge much more than $3 a month.
I sometimes wonder how many channels I actually watch, but it’s still nice to know I can channel surf and maybe find something random.
What do you think the WealthTV jump means to cable companies?
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