One of the strongest arguments against so-called “cord cutting” — the notion that lots of people will stop paying for cable or satellite TV, and just watch free video on the web — is that there isn’t enough good, mainstream video to watch on the web. Live sports, live network shows, live cable news, other cable shows, etc., are mostly missing. This is why we gave up our “Hulu Household” and crawled back to cable.
But here’s a site that gives real ammo to the cord-cutters: FilmOn, a free, high-quality TV streaming service that works on computers and iPads. (See screenshot below.)
Right now, you can go there and watch high-quality, live streams from the major networks (Fox, NBC, etc.), CNN International, Bloomberg, Russia Today, and even (supposedly!) hardcore porn.
Obviously, TV piracy has existed for more than a decade, and hasn’t done much to pay TV subscribership. But a site like FilmOn — NFL games on Sunday! — PLUS all the stuff on Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, and other sites, might actually be enough for someone to live on.
But can’t the networks just shut this down? Maybe not so fast. As BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield notes in a post this morning (registration required), “FilmOn is backed by billionaire Alki David (read his Wikipedia page, click here and his Twitter page, click here), who believes he is legally operating within existing US copyright law and plans to spend heavily to win his legal battle with the networks.”
Of course, if sites like this take off in any meaningful numbers, and lots of people do stop paying for cable TV, you’ll just have to pay a lot more for your Internet bandwidth.
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