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Online Video No Threat To TV, YouTube Tells Congress; Cuban Stresses Need For Net Neutrality

Updated 2: An easier way to watch the full hearing, over three hours long, is here on the committee website, as a Windows Media stream or download. PDF transcripts of the prepared remarks of the participants is also there.

Updated 1: with videos of the hearings below: Videos of the congressional hearings have surfaced on, where else, YouTube (courtesy The 463)….pasted below are the videos (RSS readers will have to click through). The full list of videos (16 in total) are here.

Executives from YouTube and HDNet, appearing before a Congressional subcommittee on the future of video entertainment Thursday, agreed that online video is not a threat to TV, though for very different reasons, PC Magazine reports. Mark Cuban of HDNet told members of the House Energy and Commerce telecom subcommittee that “in our current bandwidth constrained environment, the concept of internet video replacing TV is laughable…There is certainly a market for video content on PCs, but it’s a complimentary market, not a primary market.” But that’s Mark being deliberately provocative. More after the jump…

Chad Hurley, CEO of YouTube, not only agreed, but said that at least in his company’s case, competing with TV seems to be the furthest thing from his mind. Hurley denied that YouTube was working to improve the quality of its video in order to compete with TV offerings. Hurley added that YouTube’s offering of short clips versus complete episodes means it cannot be considered on the same plane as TV. He insisted that YouTube directs viewers to TV programming more than it does steal them away, Hurley said, claiming that “CBS publicly stated that [YouTube has] helped increase their ratings by 5 percent” via posted clips of select shows. For his part, Cuban took the opportunity to tell the hearing that, as an executive producer on films like Good Night and Good Luck, he spends more time monitoring sites like YouTube than spent making the actual movies.

While Congressional members may not have been entirely convinced by Hurley’s argument on that point, it was unclear whether there was any consensus on the issue of net neutrality either. Cuban and and Blake Krikorian, CEO of Sling Media, said their respective businesses’ success is contingent upon the open architecture of the internet and not charging more for websites that require more bandwidth. “The real problem is the actual capacity of the lines to your home,” Cuban said. “It’s hard to say” if Congress needs to intervene on that point, he said, but “if we don’t go much further than where we are, we won’t be able to compete in a global environment.”

Videos:

Video 1: Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian’s prepared testimony at the House Telecom and Internet Subcommittee:

Video 2: YouTube CEO Chad Hurley prepared testimony at the House Telecom and Internet Subcommittee:

Video 3: Tivo CEO Tom Rogers prepared testimony at the House Telecom and Internet Subcommittee:

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