TV Everywhere moves into the starting blocks

Whether you call it TV Everywhere or TV Anywhere, the push to get premium content to authorized viewers--ie. Pay-TV subscribers--over the Internet is becoming a hot topic. This week's announcement (see this story, and a look at what it means to TV Everywhere) that Hulu was rolling out its long-rumored Hulu Plus premium subscription product has only served to further push TV Everywhere from the back burner to the front of the stove.

Cable companies, who, depending upon what statistics you trust are either hemorrhaging subscribers or having strong growth, see TV Everywhere as a panacea of sorts, a way to stop the bleeding by keeping viewers inside their walled gardens, even by offering additional premium content for free. Telcos see TV Everywhere as a way to leverage their IPTV products by offering viewers more interactivity and the ability to meld their online video experience with their pay-TV plan.

For viewers, the picture's a little more fuzzy, but equally as alluring.

Imagine being able to start watching a program on your television, pick up where you left off on your smartphone on the way to work, and finish it during a lunch break on your iPad or laptop.

At the NAB show in Las Vegas in April, the topic of TV Everywhere was, well, everywhere, but the actual product was virtually a no-show.

At the Cable Show in L.A. in June, it also was a hot topic, but more for the fact that one of its biggest proponents--Comcast--was in the midst of remaking how subscribers could actually get access to it, which it turned out, was just too hard.

Comcast, Time Warner, Cox and a slew of other MSOs, not to mention telcos and satellite operators, are poised to launch--or expand already--existing TV Everywhere offerings. Those that already have launched have been met with mixed reviews from consumers who, it turns out, actually expect more than the somewhat thin and tepid platforms available.

TV Everywhere is a product that almost certainly will eventually be successful in the market if it offers enough, at an acceptable price, to consumers who already are revolting at the price of their pay-TV offerings.

FierceIPTV decided to take a deeper look at TV Everywhere, and the ruckus it's causing, from new business models to the creation of new businesses to the change in how viewers get their TV and online video. Check out our latest ebook, "The Promise, and Problems of TV Everywhere" here. -Jim

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