BC Expert: HBO Streaming
ASSOCIATE PROF. DANIEL LYONS
BOSTON COLLEGE LAW SCHOOL
(617) 899-4813 (cell)
Lyons is an assistant professor at Boston College Law School who specializes in the areas of telecommunications and Internet regulation, administrative law, and property. He is a frequent contributor to several blogs focusing on the intersection of law and technology, including TechPolicyDaily.com. Before joining the faculty, he practiced energy, telecommunications, and administrative law in Los Angeles. Professor Lyons has participated in proceedings before both the Federal Communications Commission and various state public utilities commissions.
Home Box Office, the premium movie channel that's a standard part of most cable TV packages, is venturing into new territory - streaming its product over the Internet - and that's certain to cause a seismic shake-up in the world of cable bundled packages.
“It'll be a significant blow to the traditional cable bundle,” says Boston College Law School Associate Professor Daniel Lyons, an expert on the Federal Communications Commission. “HBO's original programming and live sports are probably the two biggest draws that bring people to cable. I think HBO is one of only two cable channels that could have led this transition--the other being ESPN.”
The move is aimed at the country’s 10 million so-called “cord cutters” – people who have an Internet connection but who don’t subscribe to pay TV.
“One interesting question for me is whether this will have an effect on broadband prices,” says Lyons, who has participated in rulemaking proceedings before the FCC. “Cable and broadband share many of the same fixed costs. It seems likely that the ability to order HBO over the Internet will lead more people to cancel their cable bundles. If so, the cable companies will have to replace that lost revenue and lost contribution to joint fixed network costs--which implies broadband prices may go up. It also could prompt companies like Comcast, which have been testing the waters with usage-based broadband pricing, to move more toward a metered billing model rather than the present all-you-can-eat broadband plan. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, as it shifts more of the network's costs onto those who use the network the most.”
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