A long road to Everywhere

After the initial hype of TV Everywhere, the major content companies may be discovering how difficult it will be to set up the new authentication-based online TV realm and reach critical mass. Some expectations are that the latter may not happen until 2014. By then, many people wanting to view TV Everywhere programming may be using mobile phones to access it. Or maybe not, the point being that five years is a long time for a business model at the forefront of the Internet video market to attain its goals.

Most of the hurdles for TV Everywhere have been set up by the cable TV industry itself, which has much to gain from the concept, but only if cable companies can create their own gateways to TV Everywhere. That may be ideal from a back office point of view, but it might run counter-intuitive to what the content industry is looking for right now--a monetized version of Hulu that they have more control over and through which they can build value through access to additional content and features not found on traditional TV.

Ultimately, the cable TV companies (as well as the satellite TV and telco TV firms) will be the ones responsible for tearing down the hurdles, or working around them, and opening the gates for those who are ready to pay the price. But, the real power lies with the content industry, and video content players shouldn't forget that the way their cousins in the newspaper industry did. The content players have the reins of TV Everywhere, and they can drive it at whatever pace and toward whatever destination they see fit. At this point, they should let the TV service providers, as well as all the lawyers and accountants involved on both sides of the table, know that five years is too long to wait. -Dan

P.S. -- I'm filling in this week for Pete Wylie, who is on vacation and will return to action next week.