The House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology holds a hearing tomorrow to discuss “The Future of Video.” NCTA President & CEO Michael Powell is among the eight witnesses that will testify at the hearing which also includes representatives from the satellite and broadcasting industries, online video providers, movie studios and public interest community. You can read Powell’s testimony here.
In announcing the hearing, Subcommittee Chair Greg Walden (R-OR) noted, “Since the passage of the 1992 Cable Act there has been a sea change in the way that consumers gain access to video content. On June 27, the subcommittee will examine how advances in consumer electronics, broadcasting, cable, satellite, the Internet and other platforms are changing how consumers access video content, how those changes are impacted by existing regulations, and what type of regimes should apply going forward.”
Chairman Walden is spot on. The video marketplace has seen tremendous change in the past 20 years, so much, in fact, that the past is barely recognizable. This chart provides a good overview of the marketplace changes.
In 1992, cable was essentially the sole provider of video subscriptions, with satellite companies barely in existence. Today, the video marketplace is thriving with competition between cable, satellite, telco and other services all battling for viewers. We’ve gone from barely 100 channels in 1992 to more than 900 today. Twenty years ago, most people watched broadcast channels, while today most spend their TV time watching cable networks. And two decades ago, 41 percent of American relied on an over-the-air broadcast signal for their TV. In 2012, it is just 14 percent.
Consumers are overflowing with video options in 2012. There have never been more choices for content, high quality programming, diverse shows serving every audience, and even sources for content – all available on about any device a consumer wants, anywhere they are, anytime they want it.
Here in 2012, it is a great time to be a consumer.