"Facebook Live could become the most intelligent cable news network ever built”

Soon you might log on to Facebook and see, right at the top of your feed, a collection of videos produced by professionals and amateurs and tailored to your interests — breaking news and analysis related to topics you like, all of which load instantly in your feed, ad-free, and without any of the constant, interminable waiting for stuff to happen that characterizes traditional cable news.

As a business matter, this might be a danger for TV. As Matt Rosoff explained last week in Business Insider, live coverage was supposed to be the industry’s steadiest bulwark against the internet. Thanks to online networks like Netflix, people are dropping cable subscriptions as if they were toxic; one of the few remaining reasons to keep paying a monthly fee is to watch live news and sports, which are both difficult to get online.

Now that rampart is disappearing. If you turned on one of the cable news networks last week, you would have most likely seen videos lifted straight from streaming apps playing in endless televised loops. If you watched for more than a few minutes, you would have been forgiven for wondering, “Wait, if all this video is coming from Facebook, why am I watching TV?”

Then there’s TV news’s demographic cliff. People who regularly watch cable news are old.