TV Everywhere heating up the dog days of summer

Jim O'NeillAugust is usually a pretty slow time for news, summer vacations are getting used up and business plans are getting final revisions before the fourth quarter kicks off in October. But the TV Everywhere ecosystem doesn't always follow the laws of the summer doldrums.

In a nutshell, just like the weather, TV Everywhere is turning up the heat.

Last week, Turner Broadcasting System announced it was going live with a TV Everywhere play with Verizon FiOS TV, giving Verizon's customers access to TBS and TNT content 24 hours after they air on regular TV. And, true to form, it can be accessed either from the TBS TV Everywhere website, the TNT TV Everywhere website, or through Verizon's own TV Online site. The programming is now available with the help of both Adobe Systems Incorporated and FreeWheel.

"We are excited about this deployment and the next iteration of authenticated multiscreen content distribution," Andy Heller, TBS vice chairman, said. "It is more imperative than ever that TV Everywhere gains traction throughout the industry given the rapid deployment of tablets and the ability of mobile devices to display long-form video directly from Web sites."

No doubt.

At last week's The Independent Show in Baltimore, MTV Networks and Discovery executives predicted that TV Everywhere would fail, unless operators delivered more ad revenues to programmers. Complaining that VOD hadn't delivered on its promise to date, MTV's Joey Molko said: "The extent to which we can monetize (TV Everywhere) will really drive the extent to which we can embrace it. If we monetize it the exact same way as linear [TV], I think people will be excited about it. If it remains like VOD, I don't think people will put a large amount of content out there."

But content is continuing to roll out. Outdoor Channel just announced it was using Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) subsidiary thePlatform's video player technology and social network components for its website.

"It's another cable programmer starting to open up their library and bring it online," said Marty Roberts, VP of sales and marketing at thePlatform.

thePlatform also revealed that it had juiced up its new mpx Beta video management system to give content owners more security options and greater DRM flexibility.

Roberts told me he sees the industry gearing up.

"We're still working with a number of cable operators that are building out video portals with the TV Everywhere aspect," he said. "We have a couple of programmers that are actually out in beta now and we're hearing about a lot of programmers that are kind of waiting for the first ones (to go) and then they plan to get engaged throughout the fall.

"We're in the thick of it and its only increasing. So, there's a lot of activity actually going on in the market right now; it's getting pretty exciting. People have been dabbling with online video for the past couple of years; now they're getting serious.

My buddy over at FierceCable Jim Barthold, writes that another cable company, Charter Communications, (OTC BB: CCMM) is rolling an eight- to 10-channel TV Everywhere trial to between 5,000 and 10,000 subscribers.

Ah, hot fun in the summertime.-Jim