Digital Video Revenues Start to Matter

Silicon Alley Insider noted an interesting tidbit this morning in Disney’s earnings. Apparently Internet revenue helped offset lower broadcast ad revenues last quarter for ABC, lending credence to the reasons behind the writers’ strike last season.

From the SEC filing:

Broadcasting revenues increased $7 million reflecting higher internet revenues, partially offset by lower advertising revenues at the owned television stations. The increase in internet revenues included Club Penguin which was acquired in the fourth quarter of the prior year. Revenues at the ABC Television Network were comparable to the prior year as the impact of lower ratings was offset by higher advertising rates and digital media revenues.

The implications of Disney’s admission are huge. Think of the impact on the advertising business, traditional network TV, cable and telecom video services, and even, potentially, national broadband policy. If the entertainment industry can make money off video on the Internet, suddenly there’s a good reason to push greater broadband access and higher broadband speeds. Money is a powerful incentive for change.

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