The face of cable television, or at least how people watch cable television programming, is definitely changing. One of the major indicators of this is the mainstream media acceptance of shows developed specifically for Netflix, shows that only air on the streaming service and not on channels aired by cable television providers. That acceptance has reached a critical level with Emmy nominations for House of Cards, an original show developed for Netflix, and for Arrested Development, a show that once aired on Fox but whose last season was also created for the streaming service.
More from the Washington Post:
The move by Netflix to produce its own shows has upset the equation, especially now that it has made good on its goal of developing high-quality series in the model of premium cable channels such as HBO. Many analysts expect the Emmy nominations for Netflix to encourage more companies to produce their own shows and prompt those already experimenting — such as Amazon.com, which is developing several new series — to expand their ambitions.
“It is a watershed moment for video content,” technology industry analyst Carl Howe of Yankee Group said. “We’re now starting to see awards that don’t pay attention to how content is distributed. . . . What the awards people are saying is: We don’t care anymore.”
Cable channels had their own breakthrough in 1999, when HBO’s “The Sopranos” became the first series not carried on broadcast television to be nominated for best drama.
So new is Internet television that there is no standardized tool for measuring viewership, as Nielsen ratings do for shows delivered through traditional channels. The average Netflix subscriber watches 87 minutes of television on the Web site per day, more than on any cable network, according to BTIG Research, though Netflix has declined to release figures for how many people watch its original content.
The news is not all bad for cable operators. Many of the firms that deliver cable television also deliver broadband Internet through the same wires. Falling demand for traditional television may correspond with rising demand for data.
Cable providers will be able to survive because they are also often the high speed internet providers for their customers as well. But what about DISH Network and DIRECTV, who do not bundle internet with their pay-TV? Only time will tell.