Study says TV Everywhere is hardly anywhere

For any number of reasons, multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) subscribers are not rushing out to watch TV Everywhere, says a study by GfK Media, as reported by the Wall Street Journal.

According to the study, only 17 percent of TV subscribers have watched programming from their MVPDs online using TV Everywhere, even though they have access to the service through their pay TV providers. Four years after its launch, and despite a serious push by MVPDs, TV Everywhere is more like TV Nowhere when it comes to subscribers.

Also according to the study, which surveyed 1,000 people, consumers stumble over signing in to prove they're actually paying video subscribers. About 70 percent of them inexplicably said they wouldn't want to watch Internet TV if it required them to sign in as MVPD subscribers--even though it's part of the service for which they're paying.

Another reason there's no great success story for the service that got its initial push from Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is that it's not really TV Everywhere when it comes to content. While MVPDs are working to remove barriers, much of the content available in the residence is not available once subscribers step over the threshold. This ability to view content everywhere, as it were, is part of most new negotiations between MVPDs and content providers--and at least part of the reason why content prices are going up and concurrently driving pay TV rates.

Finally, there's the age-old conflict about who owns the customer. Many content providers have their own online sites and prefer to drive consumers to those sites without going through the MVPD middleman. The report seems to indicate that consumers are more interested in going through the content provider (37 percent of those who have ever watched online TV) than the MVPD (30 percent).

In the end, while about 25 percent of the respondents said they were more likely to keep their pay TV services because of TV Everywhere, most were blasé about the service.

For more:
- the Wall Street Journal had this story

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