"I don't know about that John. This may work with low definition TV- but people are spending big bucks on big Hi-def plasma screens and expect to see 1080/16x9 movie-quality video on it- that's a hell of a lot of bandwidth (1.5 Gb/s). Even with compression it fills a 6-Mhz channel. But at least when "broadcasted" everyone uses the same stream. But imagine the bandwidth and server capacity you would need to supply each person a individual Hi-def on-demand stream! Even with 100% fiber I don't think it will ever be economically feasible to deliver that kind of bandwidth via the net."
You can distribute a lot of it, like BitTorrent does (now included in the Opera web browser). Each downloader also becomes a provider, requests are redirected to the pool of downloaders (files are broken into parts, so no individual gets swamped and download can continue even if that individual logs off or is disconnected).
Or if prices for technology comes down enough, you could spend the money on a network of video servers. If the cost of a cheap low capacity, six-stream video server comes down to the price of a network hub today (a good one may be $400, for comparison an iPod with video capability is not much more - if the price of each comes down by half, there you go, technology-wise), you could get the bandwidth with little additional cost (it could cache a lot, so programs would be saved as they pass through for the next person - popular programs would be available close to almost everyone for a period). You'd need a lot of software developed to control something that decentralized, but that's a fixed cost.
Also, I doubt that video people care most about would be watched in real time. It's far cheaper to send it as a file (like podcasts or iTunes songs) say, overnight when network usage is lower. Regular programs you can schedule, or you could order a movie for the next day. People will probably have a lot of options at different prices.
I'm also not talking about the near term. Maybe more like 20 to 40 years - bandwidth and technology prices will be a lot better then.