This post originally appeared on Medium’s The Message blog.
NBCUniversal announced this week that it was investing heavily in two internet publishers, Vox Media and Buzzfeed—$200 million for each. This comes not long after Vice Media cashed their own old media checks —$250 million from A+E Networks (owned by Disney and Hearst) and $70 million from News Corp (owners of FOX, FOX News, FX, etc). Meanwhile, news about innumerable other projects pops up every day: Univision spent lavishly on web/tv hybrid Fusion, Disney dropped $700 million for online video shop Maker Studios, and rumors persist that Viacom will buy Thrillist, and on, and on, and on.
The single thing that connects all of this activity? A whole lotta cash is flowing from old television networks to new internet properties.
And what will these web properties do with it all? Probably spend it on getting more Facebook Likes. But also, many of them will be creating their own cable channels. This seems inevitable, because that’s where real money is minted today.
In other words, those boatloads of dollars given to internet companies will flow right back to television companies.
Of course, this will affect the actual content. Television will soon look a lot different, or a lot the same, depending on which side you are viewing it from.