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Mark Cuban Still Confused About Internet Overcharging Schemes & Online Video

Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban has once again entered the debate over online video, Internet Overcharging schemes, and giant corporate mergers… and mangled it.

Cuban, who owns HD Net as well as the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, occasionally presents cable industry talking points on his blog, but quickly gets into trouble when he strays from them.

This time, Cuban is annoyed with Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota) over remarks the senator made about the proposed Comcast-NBC merger.  Cuban seized on comments by Franken that Comcast should put all of its television programming online.  Doing that, Cuban insists, would lead to higher prices for broadband and usage caps on it.

Where has Cuban been?  I realize the man is too wealthy to worry about the relentless rate increases Comcast and other companies force on consumers every year, but he also forgot Comcast already has a usage cap on its service, even before the feared video tidal wave arrives.

I get that no one really cares if Comcast has to spend money on capital improvements to add bandwidth to the home.  They should. Its pretty damn stupid to push consumption in a direction that will raise internet rates  to receive the same content for which there is already a phenomenal digital network in place to deliver that content.

Think about it for a minute Senator Franken. Comcast, and every large TV Provider has a digital network in place that can and does deliver gigabits of tv content perfectly,  every second of every day, to any TV set in any  home that is connected to their network. It works. Well.  What you are asking Sen Franken, is that Comcast duplicate the delivery of theirs and NBCUniversals shows on a network, the internet,  that is not, and has never been designed to handle the delivery of huge volumes of video and tv shows.

Cuban should be arguing that point with the cable industry.  TV Everywhere, the online video platform that will offer consumers access to “hundreds of TV shows and cable programming,” is their invention.  If Cuban’s fears are correct, why would the nation’s largest cable operators launch such an ambitious online video platform?

Cuban has bought into industry propaganda justifying usage caps.  There is always an excuse for rationing broadband service to boost profits.  First it was file sharing, now it’s online video causing the “serious problem” of customers using broadband service for more than just e-mail and web browsing.  Their solution – monetize it.  Usage caps and usage based billing are about preserving high profits, not protecting or increasing network capacity.  TV Everywhere proves that.

Franken does not advocate usage caps, as Cuban suggests.  The senator simply wants to be certain Comcast cannot act as a gatekeeper, determining who gets access to Comcast-NBC programming, and who does not.

Cuban should be welcome to such measures as a victim of Gatekeeper Abuse himself.  Mark, how many subscribers did you lose nationwide when Time Warner Cable unilaterally pulled the plug on your channels?

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12 years ago

Mark acts like we all have 5.5 billion from yahoo laying around to pay cable companies with

12 years ago

The rich and privileged live in their own little world. To them, we are just puppets and objects of consumption, nothing more. Some of them at least feel sort of guilty and contribute some of their vast wealth towards charities but I still would say they are probably doing it for tax reasons and not out of the goodness of their heart. Who cares if most of the nations wealth is held in the top 1%. We are just the bottom feeders. Something is seriously wrong with this country. “We the people…”, more like “We the corporations and wealthy…”. Want… Read more »

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