Comcast, Turner Broaden TV Everywhere Pact To Cover Live Streaming2/01/2011 12:22 PM Eastern
Comcast subscribers will get access to "hundreds" of hours of Time Warner Inc.'s Turner Broadcasting System movies and TV shows, both online and on cable video-on-demand, under an expanded, multiyear TV Everywhere deal -- including, later this year, live streaming over the Internet.
Specific terms of the deal were not disclosed. The TV Everywhere distribution rights are included as part of a broader agreement reached between Comcast and Turner, the companies said.
The agreement covers shows and movies from Turner networks, including TNT, TBS, CNN, HLN, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim. Comcast also plans to offer live streaming of some Turner channels later this year, subject to certain rights restrictions and conditions, though details on this front are still sketchy.
"We envision that Comcast will likely begin making CNN available on an authenticated basis in the near future," Turner spokeswoman Misty Skedgell said. "You'll see others from our entertainment portfolio in the near term."
The deal builds on the agreement Comcast and Time Warner reached in mid-2009 to collaborate on the industry's first national "TV Everywhere" trial.
By making video content easily available to cable TV customers across multiple non-TV platforms, operators like Comcast and programmers like Turner hope to reinforce the value of pay-TV subscriptions -- and dissuade consumers from cancelling their service in favor of Netflix or other Internet-delivered video.
Comcast and Turner did not specify how much material will be available under the expanded pact. Turner shows available to the cable operator's customers this year are to include: The Closer, Men of a Certain Age, Southland, Conan, Lopez Tonight, The Venture Brothers, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Speeders, Glory Daze, House of Payne, Meet The Browns and Piers Morgan Tonight.
Today Comcast's Xfinity TV online service -- available to any of the operator's video subscriber, over any Internet connection in the U.S. -- provides more than 150,000 online video choices. The MSO provides up to 25,000 VOD choices on TV. Last year, Comcast customers logged about 4 billion on-demand views.
Shortly after airing on Turner networks, the content will appear on XfinityTV.com, Comcast's On Demand service, various Turner websites, and Xfinity- and Turner-branded iPad, iPhone and Android-based tablet and phone applications.
The companies expect Turner content viewed across Comcast's Xfinity platforms to accrue to Nielsen's C3 ratings across TV and the Internet starting in mid-2011, and eventually extend to smartphone and tablet devices.
"This multiyear agreement with Time Warner is a significant next step in our vision to deliver more content to our customers on any device, at anytime and anywhere," Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said in a statement.
Roberts praised Time Warner Inc. chairman and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes as being "a real leader in increasing the amount of content available to consumers and we are thrilled to be able to deliver hundreds of hours of Turner shows and movies to our customers across multiple devices."
For his part, Bewkes noted that more than 50 million consumers can access "TV Everywhere" content today from various content providers and distributors.
"This landmark agreement between Turner and Comcast, along with our separate recent deal between Comcast and HBO, really solidifies our partnership in this effort and really pushes forward the concept of giving consumers more access to quality on-demand content on any device they choose," Bewkes said in a statement.