Verizon CEO: Cable TV at risk

The growing threat of Web video distribution is one the
cable industry needs to pay closer attention to, according to the CEO of
Verizon. Ivan Seidenberg, at a Goldman media conference in NY, told attendees
he doesn’t expect future generations of customers to have any interest in
buying cable bundles.

“Young people are pretty smart. They’re not going to
pay for something they don’t need to,” he said. “Over the top is
going to be a pretty big issue for cable.”

The comment, captured by All
Things Digital
, points out a growing concern about “cord cutting” – people
swapping their cable subscriptions for Internet video. While it’s not as
simplistic or widespread as proponents make it out to be now, it is growing and
could pose a long-term threat.

Seidenberg noted that while Verizon itself offers those
bundles, he expects them to go away eventually.

 “I think cable has some life
left in its model…but that it is going to get disintermediated over the next
several years.”

While Web-exclusive series have limited audience, some –
like Felicia Day’s “The Guild” and Kevin Pollak’s “Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show” –
have found some traction. The bigger threat, though, comes from services like
Hulu and Netflix.