Sun Valley Update: Is the Internet TV Market Up for Grabs?
Despite serious interest from Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), the market of Internet-connected televisions is still up for grabs, said former chief executive of Sling Media Blake Krikorian in an interview Wednesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Allen & Co. media conference in Sun Valley, Mr. Krikorian said television manufacturers like Sony (SNE) and Samsung have an opportunity to band together to compete with companies that are developing ways to blend traditional cable programming with Internet content.
Mr. Krikorian expressed deep skepticism that Google, in particular, could dominate the market of piping digital television and other Internet content into consumers’ living rooms. It is also an open question, he said, whether Apple, whose Apple TV software he praised, can take a lead in the space, or whether cable companies or even TV manufacturers have an opportunity to step in.
Mr. Kirkorian was a central player in the first wave of attempts to connect the Internet and television, founding Sling Media, which makes it possible for users to watch content from their home TVs on mobile phones and computers. He sold Sling Media to EchoStar in 2007 but has continued to advise a number of small and large companies in the digital-media industry.