So What Is TV Everywhere, Exactly?

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Like “business-casual attire” or “reasonable network management,” the term “TV Everywhere” means slightly different things to different people.

In my recent interview with Time Warner Cable CTO Mike LaJoie, I asked how the MSO’s testing or rollout of TV Everywhere was proceeding (see Time Warner Cable Tees Up ‘TV Everywhere’ Shot and ESPN, TWC Hammering Out ‘TV Everywhere’ Details).

He replied, “What does that mean to you?”

Fair question. I said TV Everywhere services give video subscribers authenticated access to TV content on non-TV devices.

But to LaJoie, “TV Everywhere” specifically means programming that cable networks provide on their websites, made available to pay-television subscribers through a log-in procedure. Delivering TV content to iPads and other IP devices in the home are just part of the cable TV service, and Time Warner Cable is “focusing on making those devices sing and dance better for the customer,” he said. (The full Q&A with LaJoie will be in Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.)

Where you draw the lines around TV Everywhere matter, because that has a bearing on how customers will find and consume this content, how it’s marketed, whether subscribers will pay a premium for it (see Providers Likely To Charge For ‘TV Everywhere’: Analyst) and whether distributors even have the rights to deliver it to non-TV platforms.

Questions abound: Does TV Everywhere encompass live TV, or is it only on-demand? Is it hosted only on the programmers’ sites, or on the operators’ sites? Or both? Is it just on PCs, or mobile too? If it’s only available at a customer’s home, that’s not really “everywhere,” is it?

Meanwhile, will Dish successfully trademark “TV Everywhere” for its proprietary use or will it be deemed a generic industry term?

In any case, marketing “TV Everywhere” will be a key challenge, according to Synacor CEO Ron Frankel. His company’s software is powering Charter’s trial of TV Everywhere (see Charter Will Test ‘TV Everywhere’). But he sees less of an issue in where content is hosted, as long as customers can find it easily.

“We’re focused on a unified search and discovery, and we’ll bring up the asset wherever it’s located in order for the customer to get to it,” he said.

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Programming Note!

Don’t miss TV Anywhere & Everywhere: The Content Connection in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Sept. 22, presented by Multichannel News/B&C.

Scheduled speakers include Sony Pictures Entertainment CTO Mitch Singer; Cox’s Mark Gathen, Director, Video Product Management; Dish’s Bruce Eisen, VP, Online Content Development & Strategy; Sherry Warburton, VP, Office of the CTO at SeaChange; Motorola’s Bob Scheffler, Director, Next-Generation Video Solutions; and Cathy Hetzel, president, Advanced Media Information Division, Rentrak.

To register and for more info, visit www.multichannel.com/TVeverywhere2010.

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