August 25th, 2010

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Link Harvest: model, does it work?

Disney's is a pay site, but it works on an unusual model. You can't buy individual access. Either your ISP pays on a per-subscriber basis, in which case you get access for free. Or no one subscribing from the ISP gets access.
Despite skeptics, this model persists, and a lot of ISPs have agreed to pay.

But here's the fun part. These ISPs are also MVPDs (video providers). They therefore negotiate this access as part of their overall retransmission fee for ESPN.

This is no to say the model won't have consequences, especially for online video and for smaller ISPs. But it does suggest the model is unlikely to become generally popular.