TV Everywhere's biggest challenge: customer awareness

LOS ANGELES--When 2014 March Madness reached 69 million video streams, TV Everywhere (TVE) got the attention of not only the cable industry, but the world.

"There were 69 million video streams and we're hitting the theme of providing consumers different screens. But there's still a gap between peaks and until those problems are solved we can't tout TVE as a big success," said Jeremy Legg, SVP for business development at Turner Broadcasting during a panel at The Cable Show here.

Authentication is one of those problems, according to Matt Strauss, SVP and GM of video services for Comcast Cable (NASDAQ: CMCSA). But it's gradually being fixed.

"It is part of our daily lives so there are best practices to make it easier. We allow customers to sign in using Comcast credentials. Interestingly, when we let our customers know about a TVE event, we see unprecedented usage," Strauss said.

Marketing now assumes a greater role in the advancement of TVE, said Mike Angus, SVP and CEO of video for Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC).

"Tent-pole events bring in customers and once they have credentials they can watch more TVE. That is driving awareness. And, for customers with just pay TV there is a 46 percent satisfaction rate. But as you add devices, the rate goes up to 80 percent," Angus added.

An appealing number for sure. Yet more people are consuming content across the board, said Ron Lamprecht, EVP for video distribution at NBCUniversal.

"People are consuming more content. Period. And that's good. It ultimately helps us extend out video products to TVE."

There are some challenges to advancing TVE, however. And generating awareness among consumers is one of them.

"The industry has not done a good job reminding people of the value of content and TVE extension. It's time we do that," said Tamara Franklin, EVP Digital for Scripps Networks Interactive.

That may be changing, Strauss said. "It's about awareness and the TVE message is about giving customers what they want, when they want it. And TVE is an extension of that vision."

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