YouTube Live – One More Nail in the Cable Coffin?

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Today begins the next chapter in internet video - live programming. If it works, it's another reason to drop that expensive cable bill.

Thanks to archived TV shows available on the web, you can already watch almost any popular TV show or movie on sites like Hulu, iTunes and Netflix.

Today YouTube is attempting to hammer yet another nail in the $100-per-month cable-TV coffin by introducing the one thing these sites lack: the ability to watch live TV.

At 11:00 AM EST, YouTubeLive will debut live TV, beginning with Rocketboom Live. Howcast, Young Hollywood and other shows follow.

From the YouTube announcement:

Today and tomorrow, tune in as we open a new chapter of YouTube live streaming. Starting at 8:00 a.m. PT, we will begin a limited trial of a new live streaming platform in conjunction with four of our partners: Howcast, Next New Networks, Rocketboom and Young Hollywood.

The ability to watch live news, sports or other programming online – if it proves successful – will help add momentum to the cut-the-cable movement. It’s a movement that’s already big: One of the most popular stories we’ve ever done is You Don’t Have to Pay for Cable TV. And why shouldn’t people be interested in learning how to eliminate one of the most onerous bills they face? The cable TV model requires paying for hundreds of channels that you may never watch. Watching only what you want to see – especially if it’s free – only makes sense.

If live streaming works, cable could be in further trouble – and farther down the road, so could traditional network and other live news programming. Is the day coming when Money Talks and other internet news providers can bypass pitching shows to network bigwigs and simply put them on the air with YouTube?

Here’s hoping the YouTube Live experiment is a success.

Stacy Johnson

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