With Hulu.com snaring more and more users watching TV programming online, cable and satellite providers are trying to figure out a way to make sure their subscribers' eyeballs stayed glued to their services. The companies are apparently working to get cable programming on the Web and possibly cell phones for free for subscribers.
Comcast seems to be leading the charge with its On Demand Online project, which PC World is reporting will be available by the end of the year, though TimeWarner Cable and DirecTV are also involved in negotiations with programming sources like Viacom and Discovery Communication, according to Reuters.
Of course, there are a number of big hurdles to clear before you see Hulu.com equivalents for cable, not the least of which is getting cable channels to play along. Then there's the security issue in terms of only letting Comcast subscribers view On Demand Online, as well as bandwidth concerns. Comcast might not cap the amount of online viewing subscribers do, but it then has to figure out how to manage that traffic with the bandwidth demands for other Internet usage. How much advertising will be shown, and if not enough advertisers are coughing up cash, will an extra monthly fee eventually be charged to subscribers using the service?
What are your thoughts about cable companies offering programming online to subscribers? Inevitable? Doom to failure? Let us know in the TalkBack section.