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ISP dreams: We can do TV, too

Forget the revolutionary promises of "new media." Internet companies' newest hope is to model themselves after the business successes of cable TV.
America Online wants to be the Internet's HBO, scheduling exclusive content that people will go out of their way to pay for, according to CEO Richard Parsons. SBC Communications has linked hands with Yahoo to create its own bundles of "programming"--music, video, and other content and services.

Other Internet service providers (ISPs) and content companies are increasingly striking variations on the same tune: The ISP business needs to attract people with content, in much the same way cable TV does. The trouble is, some analysts say, there's not yet much reason to believe that people will respond the same way they do to cable TV.


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