Broadband Communities

MAR-APR 2013

BROADBAND COMMUNITIES is the leading source of information on digital and broadband technologies for buildings and communities. Our editorial aims to accelerate the deployment of Fiber-To-The-Home and Fiber-To-The-Premises.

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Provider ProsPective An Episode Worth Watching Young people no longer organize their schedules around their favorite TV shows. Give them plenty of broadband, and let them watch content whenever they want. By Bryan Rader / Bandwidth Consulting LLC W hen I was a kid, my family was glued to the TV set on Tursday nights, catching a lineup of "Cheers," "Te Cosby Show" and "Family Ties." As we got older, we shifted to newer shows such as "Seinfeld" and "Friends." Before my time, I am sure families were watching "Happy Days," "Mash" or even "I Love Lucy." What happened to "must see TV"? Why are young people no longer eagerly waiting for Tursday nights? Watching TV episodes has been replaced with viewing YouTube, Xbox and Facebook. According to the television measurement frm Nielsen, this is increasingly true for young viewers. In its most recent fndings, Nielsen reported that young adults watch considerably less traditional TV than they did just three months ago. Tis trend has been developing for some time. Leading TV executives also notice a big drop in traditional TV viewing among this demographic group. According to Nielsen, younger viewers are more likely to use Internet video, social networks, mobile phones and video games. In other words, "must see TV" has been replaced with "must see broadband." Tis will have signifcant implications for cable operators as these young viewers eventually move into their own homes and start making decisions about pay TV. In student housing, property management frms say their students want a fat broadband pipe and a very thin TV lineup. Tere is no more "must see" anything! One developer told me his college students are fne with a 50-channel HD lineup as long as they can use Wi-Fi and have plenty of bandwidth. For private cable operators (PCOs) that covet this space, it's time to begin looking at how to create products that are attractive to the young adults Nielsen says are changing the face of traditional TV. Young adults are increasing in numbers, making up a disproportionate percentage of people moving into rental housing. According to several sources, the 18- to 30-yearold cohort (also known as "echo boomers" or "millenials") is a big reason apartment occupancies are increasing today. Time Warner recently called these customers "cable nevers," customers who will never subscribe to traditional TV. I call them a real headache if the industry doesn't respond to this behavioral shift. 8 NEW OpTIONS fOR CABlE NEvERS Without "Te Cosby Show" or "Seinfeld" as part of their entertainment diet, how can we sell traditional TV to these customers? Will young people actually pay $100 a month for digital TV with numerous programming tiers? Or will they bypass pay TV altogether – as Nielsen is seeing – and spend more time fnding content online? It appears increasingly likely that they won't spend the $100. Tis group of customers must be presented with TV options diferent from previous generations'. For them, it's not about more channels; it's about more megabytes. Yes, millenials still do watch TV content – recent hits such as "Modern Family" or "Big Bang Teory" – but they download the latest episodes to their iPads directly from the content owner's website. Tey don't care about regularly scheduled time slots. Some millenials even wait for rainy weekends and download entire seasons of these shows. (Ten hours in a row of "Glee?" Really?) Tis trend must be considered an opportunity, not a threat, for PCOs. PCOs must rethink how to sell TV content to the young adults who populate multifamily housing. Some PCOs are bundling broadband with HD local stations to build very inexpensive packages of services. One operator told me, "Locals, Hulu Plus, Netfix and my broadband pipe make the perfect bundle for young customers today." I suggest we stop using "must see TV" to target younger consumers and start pushing "must see broadband" as a new source for content. Tis will be a much better episode to watch! NOTE: I will explore this subject further in future columns. I'll also be moderating a session at the 2013 Broadband Communities Summit called Bulk Broadband in MDUs, in which several innovative PCO executives will discuss topics such as this one. v Bryan Rader is CEO of Bandwidth Consulting LLC, which assists providers in the multifamily market. You can reach Bryan at or at 636-536-0011. Learn more at | BROADBAND COMMUNITIES | | March/april 2013

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