Someday, people will use the Internet for much more than sending emails and instant messages, reading sports scores, ordering books, and buying stocks. Someday, all the data on the information superhighway will converge and pass through boxes sitting atop television sets, making the technology as easily accessible and as smoothly integrated into people's lives as TV is today.
It won't be for a long, long while, but before you know it, people will be getting their important facts and figures and their treasured entertainment right in their living room, delivered over whatever the broadband/Wi-Fi technologies of today ultimately become. (See what Netflix
That's what I was thinking about as I read that online video-on-demand concern CinemaNowis now in business with General Electric's
For now, however, NBC Universal is merely exploring the potential for its content in this medium. This venture is not going to undermine the company's existing pay-per-view and DVD strategies, and it won't become a huge part of GE's revenue base anytime soon. Nevertheless, somebody needs to stake a claim in this space, if only to keep up with the likes of Time Warner
I think shareholders should applaud the partnership, but they should also keep a lot of patience on hand to see where everything leads. It'll be a long time before we see exactly how the move will drive value.
More Foolish perspective on companies mentioned in this article:
- GE's Electrifying Prediction
- Opening the Lions' Floodgates
- AOL, Road Runner Make Fast Friends
- Is Microsoft Infected?