A couple of quotes from recent pieces in New Media Age:

"TV broadcasters know that people aren't loyal to a channel, they're loyal to its content."
"People relate to what's really part of their lives, not the operators providing the service."

Is it as simple as this?

I mean, I don't for a minute believe that mobile owners get excited about their operator - and we've known for a while that they're more loyal to their choice of handset manufacturer than they are to their choice of operator.

But is it all about content? For me, personally, there are some channels which I have positive associations with (BBC1, Channel 4), and some which I have negative associations with (Channel 5, QVC)... I don't even know what's on QVC or Channel 5 right now, but I still feel averse to them, so presumably it's not as simple as me relating to the content of a channel. I'm more likely to give something unknown on BBC1 a go than I am if the same programme is on Channel 5 - so my choices are being influenced by my perception of the distribution mechanism as well as the content itself.

And is this not what the operators have been trying to do: create a perception that just because a piece of content is on Vodafone Live!, say, and is co-branded, that it is of quality?