Cost, As Usual, Is A Major Factor
By Sheldon I. Altfeld – “The Cable Maven”
From a start-up network standpoint, getting cable carriage these days won’t be easy – especially if you’re homing in on niches such as minorities, sports, old movies, old TV programs, news or music. Just about every conceivable concept already has a significant amount of competition. With five news channels, four music channels, six children’s channels and three women’s channels – not to mention the number of old and new movie channels already up and running – our cup runneth over with duplicative programming.
The average launch cost for a start-up network planning to negotiate cable carriage is now running between $100 and $200 million dollars. And that’s just to launch. Cable operators (Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, etc.) can afford to be extremely discriminating these days as to which networks they will add to their lineup. One of the major factors in that determination is, of course, what’s in it for them. Will the newbie start-up be able to capture enough eyeballs? Will there be an opportunity for the MSO to own a piece of the network? Will new networks be able to raise sufficient capital to sustain themselves until advertising and subscriber revenue kicks in? Lots of important questions, very few answers.
So, let’s look at what it would cost to transmit your programming signal on cable vs. the Internet. For starters, a compressed satellite transponder (which is how all cable TV programming is delivered to cable systems) will cost between $35,000 and $50,000 per month, including Master Control and Technical Operations Center. Comparatively, if you were to launch on the Internet, you’re looking at as little as $600 per month for Streaming Media Server Service. That’s right, as little as $600 per month!
All anyone needs to “broadcast” on the Internet is a computer, a TV card installed in your computer and appropriate software. There are software programs to create television shows, which are absolutely top quality technically. These software programs will create professional-looking videos with sound, graphics, transitions and virtual backgrounds. To broadcast your stream on the Internet, you will need a Streaming Media Server Service. There are plenty of them around. Some offer up to 192kbps video streaming for just $6 per concurrent user per month. Therefore, your stream can be broadcast to 100 simultaneous viewers for as little as $600 per month. If a viewer watched your Internet TV channel for two hours every day, that would allow you to handle 1,200 viewers every day.
Further details and a list of Server Services can be found in my Network Start-Up Kit, available through PayPal on this website.