New York — Phil Kent, Turner Broadcasting System chairman and CEO, made an impassioned
plea to a crowd of TV executives to push TV Everywhere as a way to “maintain this
great ecosystem” called the television industry.
“I think TV Everywhere is all about sustainability,” Kent
said during the “Acquiring Dramas, Comedies, Movies and
More in a Competitive Marketplace” panel at the fourth annual
Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable OnScreen
Summit here Dec. 1.
Kent described three “buckets” of consumer behavior: (1)
watching shows during their scheduled airtime; (2) watching
shows, but not during scheduled airtime or even on a
television set; and (3) owning box sets of entire series for
viewers to watch at their leisure.
“There are very good monetization models for bucket one
and bucket three,” Kent said, adding that TV Everywhere is
built “so that we can satisfy that consumer behavior [bucket
2] in a legal way and in an easy-to-use way.”
While some have wondered why the movement hasn’t fully caught on, Kent said that three
years after its inception, TV Everywhere is now available in over 70 million homes. “Name
for me a consumer product or service that, in three years, has gone from an idea ... to available
in over 70 million homes, 70% of the footprint,” Kent said.
Kent pointed out, however, a difference between availability and adoption: “In terms of
availability, it’s been a tremendous success; in terms of adoption, it has not been a success at
this point. It’s been disappointing.”
He cited two main reasons for low adoption: lack of content
and poor marketing.
Kent said the authentication process for viewing content
should be streamlined. “Wouldn’t it be a great thing to have
a single white sheet of paper that said, ‘Here’s how you go
and register so you can get all this great content that’s available
now,’ ” he said. “I have yet to see a single distributor, in
any aggressive way, put that out there.” He said Turner would
adopt that strategy.
The biggest roadblock in terms of content seems to be that
content providers wait until their carriage agreements are up
for renewal to negotiate TV Everywhere deals, thus slowing
the process, Kent said.
“I don’t think you have to wait for your four- or fi ve-year
channel renewal deal to come up with an operator to start letting our customers get access
to this content,” he said.