News

When TV Everywhere … Isn’t

4/30/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

As I write this on Friday, I face
a weekend conundrum. Before catching a
train north to the Hudson Valley tomorrow,
do I leave early and get there around 3 p.m.
to catch the local Knicks and Rangers playoff
games, or leave late after watching them at
home?

The reason for this is, outrageously, despite
all the money I pay for cable TV and Internet,
those games aren’t available for me to watch
live on an iPad extension.

I kid about the outrage. Sort of. But my
subscription-extending services such as Time
Warner Cable’s TWC TV live streaming of the
TV lineup, HBO Go and WatchESPN have
made me come to expect to get my TV on anywhere
I can get ’Net access. (The Knicks’ game is on ABC
and not on WatchESPN, darn it.)

This week’s cover story gets into consumer expectations
of “TV Everywhere,” which is one of those terms whose
definition expands or contracts depending on who uses it.

To cable companies and Dish Network, which is trying
to trademark the term, TV Everywhere essentially means
access to on-demand shows from programmers you subscribe
to as part of your bundle. More and more, it also
means live streams of those services, in the home and, in
some cases, outside the home.

For the most part, it isn’t generating additional
license fee or ad revenue for the programmers.
But as Turner distribution executive Coleman
Breland told Todd Spangler,
it helps “preserve what’s already there” and, one
hopes, will generate ad money sometime.

For Viacom, which finds its networks losing
viewers to Netflix and other alternatives,
it’s an extension distributors need to pay
for, as Denise Denson said.

And for newcomers like NimbleTV, TV Everywhere means an opportunity to
extend customers’ multichannel bundle anywhere
in the world — and on any device.

All of which makes (program note coming)
this Thursday’s MCN/B&C event “TV In a Multiplatform
World” at the Sentry Centers Midtown East essential
viewing.

Keynotes will include HBO co-president Eric Kessler
and ESPN senior vice president Matt Murphy. Comcast,
Turner, CBS and other key players will also be on hand to
tackle some of the big questions. Including:

How quickly do multichannel distributors need to get
TV Everywhere going and how expansive do the offerings
have to be? How much value really is added? How do the
programmers get paid?

Let the playoffs resume, and hope to see you Thursday.

September