DirecTV, AT&T Waiting in the 'TV Everywhere' Wings


DirecTV has already reached an agreement with Time Warner Inc. to offer TNT and TBS programming as part of the satellite operator’s spin on “TV Everywhere,” an executive familiar with the deal told me. (The Associated Press reported Thursday that DirecTV is “in talks” with the networks.)

Apparently, DirecTV — which has previously confirmed its general interest in pursuing the concept — is sitting on its hands waiting for the right time to announce it… or maybe until it has lined up a few more network partners.

Meanwhile, AT&T also is going down this road.

In May, the telco said it was “actively building an authentication system for our customers to be able to access their TV content online and on mobile platforms — on our site and programmers’.” (See Satellite, Telcos In ‘TV Everywhere’ Camp.)

DirecTV and AT&T would become the fourth and fifth pay-TV distributors — along with Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon — to officially move forward with the concept of giving subscribers access to programming on the Web, included as part of their monthly bill.

Time Warner Cable on Thursday announced the participation of 12 programmers for its TV Everywhere service, including TNT, TBS, HBO, CBS, AMC, Syfy and Discovery (Time Warner Cable Deals 12 Nets Into Web-TV Game).

Also on Thursday, Verizon heralded a test of FiOS TV Online with TNT and TBS with 500 subscribers that it said was launched last week (Verizon Tags TNT, TBS For FiOS ‘TV Everywhere’).

What’s the deal with Time Warner Cable and Verizon announcing similar initiatives on the same day? Looks like someone was trying to steal thunder.

And right now, that’s what this is about: marketing noise, aimed at attracting more content partners and attempting to tantalizing customers with promises of what’s to come.

The true tests will come when these services go live with thousands of regular customers, and all the details — ease of use, content selection, navigation/discovery, video quality, ad load, etc. — will matter the most.