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Cox on the Wal-Martization of Cable


There’s a post over on Cox’s Digital Straight Talk blog about cable services (specifically Cox’s services) being promoted and sold through Wal-Mart. Cable operators have had a retail presence for years now, as evidenced by the cable modems packaged with service deals available on store shelves. However, the presence hasn’t been high-profile.

I’m guessing that’s about to change.

First, broadband is hot. No, I’m not kidding. When I first got online there were only so many things I could do – Prodigy message boards, email to the handful of folks who had accounts, Web surfing on one-dimensional, non-multimedia, non-Ajax pages. Now, the broadband connection is at the heart of almost everything I do – the shows I watch, the information I research, the people I connect with at any time of day or night.

Second, cable and telecom operators know broadband is hot now. Take the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Comcast used to send a few people to walk the floor every year. Now the company sends hordes of people to Las Vegas in January. The consumer electronics business is in operators’ sights. They know that it won’t be long before everything is connected to their networks, and it’s time to move front and center for the consumer and retail brand wars.

I wonder what operators will have in Wal-Mart aisles this time next year.

(By the way, Walmart has a blog – apparently live as of 12/5. Who knew?)

2 Responses

  1. Kmart used to sell dial-up access for their own ISP until they went into bankruptcy. Eventually, they ended up selling bluelight.com to NetZero and have since pulled the product from their store. It makes sense for Cox to try and get the increased visibility, but I just don’t know how popular cable internet would be with the Walmart crowd. On one hand, they do sell computers and other tech gear, but on the other hand, you would think they would have more luck selling DSL to price sensitive customers. It will be interesting to see how popular this ends up being.

  2. I’m guessing it will end up being more than just cable Internet. In a few years. I bet we’ll see more devices sold at retail — portable media players, phones, TV gadgets — bundled with optional Internet service packages. Operators are trying to get in on the ground floor by creating a presence in the big retail shops.

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