General

At the Wall Street Journal, Shalini Ramachandran and Martin Peers report on recent remarks from the Chief Executive of one of America’s largest cable providers on the future of television:

Predicting that transmission of TV will move to the Internet eventually, Cablevision Systems Corp. Chief Executive James Dolan says “there could come a day” when his company stops offering television service, making broadband its primary offering.

His comments may be the first public acknowledgment by a cable CEO of the possibility of such a shift, long speculated about by analysts. It comes amid growing tensions between cable operators and channel owners over rising programming costs, highlighted Friday night when Time Warner Cable Inc. dropped CBS from its channel lineup in major markets such as New York and Los Angeles.

If cable operators drop TV service, charging only for broadband, channel owners would have to sell directly to the public or through Web outlets.

Given the increasing popularity of services like Netflix and Hulu — not to mention big guns like Amazon getting in on the streaming game — it’s pretty obvious where things are going. The only question is how business models will shake out.