Utility Television

Sling Media recently introduced the highly successful ‘SlingBox’ product to allow people access their home TV over the intranet. In reality I imagine that the average Slingbox owner does not utilise their service 24 hours a day as they are either working, traveling or sleeping.

So is there an opportunity for these users to ‘re-sell’ their un-utilised TV feed into a pooled utility? A company could provide a ‘marketplace’ where Slingbox owners could sell their ‘spare capacity’. Buyers who do not have a Slingbox, or access to certain channels, could buy this capacity and view the suppliers TV feed. A large and liquid market would ensure a buyer would receive un-interupted content from multiple suppliers if one feed stopped ‘selling’ (similar to Bit Torrent or Kazaa)

A ‘Utility TV Company’ would provide a win-win(-win) service. Sellers would receive revenue for the hours of TV that they are not watching and reduce their cable bills, Buyers could watch all the TV they wanted on a per minute/show basis from anywhere in the world, and the Utility would make a ‘broker fee’ for connecting the 2 parties.

So do you think Utility TV could have a future? TV Shows are often available online after the event but this would have the advantage of live broadcasting. But do you think users are allowed to ‘re-sell’ their cable content? And how would the cable companies ever know?

Comments on a postcard please :)

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