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Mark Cuban foretells Netflix demise, sees a future filled with on-demand video

Vlad Savov
05.07.10
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To call Mark Cuban eccentric would be akin to describing the ocean as wet, but what's not so often acknowledged about the Dallas Mavericks owner is the sharp mind and commercial nous that have gotten him to the position of hiring and firing millionaire ball players. One of Mark's recent blog posts, entitled "The future of TV ... is TV," got the attention of NewTeeVee, who sought to debunk his contention that VOD (video on demand) services from cable operators would become the primary means by which we consume digital media in the future. They cite the growing success story of Netflix's digital distribution model, as well as the 12 million hours of March Madness video consumed via CBS' web portal, in arguing that web streaming is indeed the great new hotness.

Mark's response tackles Netflix head on, and points out that the company's rapid growth is about to start working against it, with movie studios and other content providers likely to jack up prices and demand further concessions from the streaming service as it turns into a real competitor to cable companies. According to him, Netflix is presently getting its content at prices that are unsustainable, and his prognostication is that content owners seeking bigger levies -- together with the expansion of VOD choice, which he sees as foolproof compared to the overwhelming complexity that web streaming entails -- will lead to Netflix passing costs on to the consumers and losing out to cable operators. Irrespective of whether you agree with him, the whole exchange is well worth a read. Use the links below to get filled in.

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