In corner one DirecTV. In Corner two Viacom. Winner: streaming mediaI’m sure by know you have heard of the on-going and somewhat ugly dispute between satellite provider DirecTV and content owner Viacom, who operates many channels such as MTV, Comedy Central, BET and many more. With more than 20 million viewers there are a lot of unhappy people being deprived of live viewing of their favorite shows such as Teen Mom, The Colbert Report and Tosh.0.  In a move to help customers, DirecTV has launched a microsite with the promise “to help fans find ‘other ways to watch’ Viacom’s shows online.”

While reading up on the dispute, I began to ponder the direction of cable providers in today’s tech savvy, streaming-happy world.  For many DirecTV customers, they are simply turning to Hulu, Netflix or even the channel’s websites to watch their shows.  Although Viacom has pulled some of their free streaming offline, there is still 4,500 long-form episodes of its programming available. Will this fight be a wake-up call to viewers, that perhaps, they can drop their cable bills and wait the 24 hours to watch their episodes? With so many companies, such as Roku, Apple and Logitech, taking advantage of set-top media streaming boxes making it easy to stream right to your TV, I think a change could be on the horizon.

We know a change is coming, new fiber optic lines are being laid, Internet connections are becoming faster and stronger, and many people are investing in content delivery networks. Companies like Internap are standing by and ready for the increase in streaming that is coming.  With their Website Performance Optimization tools, they are monitoring web performance and are able to provide data on request. If you want some more information on how to improve your web content delivery, check out this State of CDN Infographic.