According to a BusinessWeek article, phone companies trying to get into the video market are running into an obstacle: movie studios and other content owners. They aren’t willing to license their content for video-on-demand and other new distribution formats.
Frankly, I hope the studios continue to hold out against the inevitable transformation of the video marketplace. The telcos are pouring money into fiber and IPTV deployments because they are scared about the competitive threat from cable companies, who are getting into the voice market. At some point, all dressed up with nothing to show, they may decide to take matters into their own hands. I’d love to see the phone companies throw their resources and political muscle into the process of blowing up the existing video value chain, alongside the smaller innovators like Tivo and BrightCove.