Communication technologies, like all technologies, are constantly competing with new technologies that are invented. Television has gone through many different stages of being. From black and white to color, from three stations to three hundred stations, and now from traditional television to IPTV. While I do not worry at all about the future of television, I do definitely think some serious changes are going to be happening over the next several years.
One theory that we have discussed that I think is easily applied to the introduction of IPTV into the world of television is the media systems dependency theory. For so long people were completely dependent upon cable or satellite to watch the programming they wanted to watch and with IPTV that has changed. Now that audiences have IPTV, the relationship between audiences and traditional television has shifted. Traditional television has been so used to being so depended upon for so long that traditional TV does not know what it is like to have such competition.
According to the media systems dependency theory, more choices in television technology means audiences are less dependent upon one way to watch TV. They can use cable to watch the local news, Netflix to watch original content, and Hulu to watch the latest episodes of their favorite shows. However, as long as traditional TV plays their cards right, it should be fine. Cable television needs to focus on its strengths, such as localized programming, as well as venturing into different technologies that give their audiences more choices in how they watch their programs.
Television depends on audiences to stay alive, but audiences also depend on television for information and entertainment. Though it will be an adjustment for traditional TV to make, it can definitely survive alongside IPTV.