Multiplatform World: Ops, Nets Need More Cooperation to Make TV Everywhere Work - Multichannel

Multiplatform World: Ops, Nets Need More Cooperation to Make TV Everywhere Work

Window of Opportunity Will Close Unless Better Partnerships are Formed
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New York -- Cable operators and content providers will have to work together to maximize the viewership and revenue opportunities for TV Everywhere, but the window of opportunity is fast closing due to competition, said executives speaking at the TV in a Multiplatform World conference here Thursday.

Executives said the industry needs to develop better partnerships with regard to offering cable network content via a TV Everywhere platform so the industry doesn't repeat the mistakes made with the launch of video on demand.  Scripps Networks Interactive senior VP of affiliate operations and new media distribution Tamara Franklin said features such as disabling fast-forwarding will make programmers feel more secure about offering more content to consumers while monetizing the platform through advertising opportunities.

"At the time programmers were willing to put more content out in VOD but there wasn't a value proposition -- you couldn't monetize it," she said. "What we'd like to do with TV Everywhere is start with the consumer and find the best product for them and then figure out how to monetize it."

Added Renee Plato, senior VP of distribution for Univision Communications Inc: "The MSOs are very important part of this because essentially this is their product and we need to see better marketing and better collaboration on both sides of the fences. This is something that we all recognize that we can win from, but it's not going to happen organically," she said.

Tara Maitra, senior vice president and general manger of content and media sales at TiVo , said the challenge for TV Everywhere is also to perfect the user experience, whether it's through authentication or passwords, to make it easier for consumers to access TV Everywhere product.

"How the user comes to understand what's available on the different platforms is a real challenge," Maitra said. "Having a unified experience, whether it's from the operator or the networks, is key in terms of how to find content on the device."

Whatever improvements are necessary to make the TV Everywhere experience more appealing to viewers need to be done quickly: Franklin believes the window of opportunity for the industry on TV Everywhere is closing fast given the development of over-the-top services such as Netflix and Hulu.

 "We took 10 years to work on VOD, but I don't think we'll have another 10 years [for TV Everywhere], she said. "We birthed Netflix...if we had done VOD correctly the first time there probably wouldn't be a Netflix."