Jeff Zucker: You’re Not Entitled to Free Content on the Internet
OK, he didn’t really say we’re all a bunch of whiny, self-entitled miscreants who think everything ought to be free no matter how much it costs to produce, but in an interview with the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) he did hint that we shouldn’t expect TV content to be freely available on the Internet forever:
“We have to figure out how we are going to pay for this quality content… I do not think that it is a foregone conclusion that content should be free on the Internet.”
At least in the excerpt I read he didn’t mention that Hulu Plus kind of sucks (no mentions of Hulu) or that in the fairly near future Nielsen will begin counting online viewing in the ratings provided that it is within 3 days of the original telecast and includes the same national commercials that aired on TV.
Once the Nielsen “TVandPC” measurement is rolled out (scheduled for Q1 of 2011) that is far more likely to change the way TV content online works than anything else on the horizon. But it also seems likely that it will keep the broadcast network content “free” for some time to come, at least within 3 days of original telecast.