commodore64_love writes with news that a number of cable companies, such as Time-Warner, Comcast, and Cox, are trying to establish themselves as content providers on the web in addition to television. They are currently negotiating with HBO, TNT, CNN, and a number of other channels to bring their programming online exclusively for cable TV subscribers. They say they're not trying to develop "some enormous new revenue opportunity," but rather trying to compete with sites like Hulu, which provide shows for free. "They pay networks a per-subscriber fee each month for the right to carry channels. But the cable companies have groused that they are paying for content that programmers are giving away for free on the Web. ... People aren't yet cutting the cord en masse - the Leichtman survey found that people who watch recent TV shows online every week are not more likely to give up TV service than other people. But the industry is heading off what could end up as a troubling trend. After all, the availability of free content online has befuddled other media industries, from music to newspapers. ... The cable companies and others involved in the talks for a TV service said their goal isn't to kill the online video goose, but to work out a plan that keeps everyone's business intact."
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