Providers Likely To Charge For 'TV Everywhere': Analyst


Cable, satellite and telco TV providers at some point probably will institute a separate subscription for "TV Everywhere" services, given that more than one-third of pay-TV subscribers surveyed are willing to pay at least $5 per month for access to TV programming on their computers, according to research firm The Diffusion Group.

About 39% of cable, satellite and telco TV subscribers would pay $5 or more each month to access their favorite TV programs on their PCs, a TDG survey found. Of that group, about half would pay $5 extra each month, about one-third would pay an extra $10 per month and about one-fifth would pay more than $15 per month.

Previous TDG surveys have found similar levels of interest among consumers in paying for TV Everywhere content.

While initial TV Everywhere offerings have "little in the way of compelling content," over time incumbent providers will become more likely to "pull a Hulu" and charge customers for a premium tier with high-value content, according to TDG founding partner Michael Greeson. Hulu, the Internet video startup owned by NBC Universal, News Corp. and Walt Disney Co., is introducing "Hulu Plus," which provides access to the full seasons of more than 30 current TV shows and hundreds of older series for $9.99 per month.

Meanwhile, TDG found, TV Everywhere can also serve to reinforce the value of the baseline TV subscription, which MSOs and cable programmers have asserted is the main goal of such authenticated services. The availability of a multiscreen service is likely to deter home TV cancellation among four in 10 would-be "cord cutters," according to the firm.

TDG's latest report is based on a survey the firm completed in December 2009 of 2,030 U.S. broadband users over 18.