Will big networks be as Irrelevant as the Oscars? Thoughts on Content Distribution

I watched the Oscars this past Sunday. I’ll admit it. It started as background noise while I cleaned up around the house. Basically since I don’t have cable or an antenna for the TV I plugged my mac into the TV and fired up the pre-Oscar video stream on ABC.com – but as soon as the ‘actual’ ceremony was underway, the live stream was only of commentary taking place outside of the theatre. Even though ABC was broadcasting the Oscars (over the air) for free, I couldn’t see it on the web. What gives?

At this point I had already (kind of) invested an hour of my time in the pre-show, so I was a bit curious as to if anyone could beat Christian Bale for Best Supporting Actor, so I fired up Justin.tv and found a couple of streams of the broadcast that individuals were sharing (basically by taking the video signal from their TV and uploading the stream live through Justin.tv so we could all watch). But on occasion the channel would get banned or shut down by administrators. However, a quick Twitter search for ‘Oscars Streaming Live’ netted me a whole wealth of channels streaming the broadcast (some even in HD).

And so within another 30 seconds I was back to watching the Oscars, on my TV, through my computer. No problem.

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