So, why are Cox and the others finally beginning to go this route? Because they must -- they have no other choice. Despite skeptics, cutting of the cord is becoming a reality for consumers who are increasingly getting only the shows and programs they want by other means -- the Internet, in particular. As I have written several times before, the MSOs are trying to beat back the inevitable consumer march toward other significant competitive movie and TV distribution channels a la Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Vudu, Google. Cable's long fear -- of becoming more and more simply the "dumb pipes" that deliver the video content from other distribution sources -- is in process as we speak.
But, here's the good news for cable. As consumer demand for high quality Internet-delivered premium video programming continues to accelerate, so will their need for faster and faster broadband. "Big cable" can be the provider of these fatter pipes -- and margins for broadband service provision are significantly higher than margins for distribution of motion picture and television programming.