Scripps Lights Up OTT Video Streaming Service

Non-Authenticated ‘ulive’ Has Fare from HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, Great American Country

Scripps Networks Interactive has launched ulive, a “digital lifestyle video site and distribution platform” that provides access to a library of on-demand content from  the company’s stable of cable channels -- HGTV, DIY Network, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country – as well as a slate of more than 70 new original series from Scripps’ “talent and social media stars and bloggers.”

In a different twist, content from ulive, including long-form episodes, clips and the new slate of originals, is available to anyone with a broadband connection, not just pay-TV customers.

Scripps debuted the non-authenticated service on Thursday, stressing that the curated approach will help it reach current and new audiences.  

While ulive offers access to a limited selection of long-form shows from Scripps-owned channels, none of them are in the TV Everywhere window, ulive president Jeff Meyer said in an interview.  

“ulive complements what [Scripps] is doing with our TV sites as well as the TV Everywhere sites,” Meyer said, noting that ulive is focused on “building a new audience” around parenting, wellness and other “lifestyle content.”

Scripps has already launched fully-authenticated, branded TV everywhere apps for all of its networks except GAC. Travel Channel, Food Network, Cooking Channel and HGTV also have launched TV Everywhere offerings on the Web and the iOS and Android platforms, while DIY has a Web-based version up now and is close to launching its own native apps.

Scripps has not yet developed any native apps tablet and smartphone apps for ulive, but is considering launching them next year if it can determine that there’s a payoff. For now, the proprietary, Web-based ulive video player supports both Flash and HTML5, and lets users share videos via Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. The player also supports interactive features, including access to recipes and step-by-step instructions.

Ford Motor Company is ulive’s initial sponsorship partner. "We’re 100% ad-supported, and at this point have no plans to change that,” Meyer said.

Originals offered on ulive at launch include What Will the Maid Think? Bert Kreischer, host of The Travel Channel’s Trip Flip; Bonkers Awesome! from food blogger and author Joy the Baker. Other Scripps talent creating original series featured on ulive include Genevieve Gorder (A Well Designed Life), Kelsey Nixon (First Time Mom), Nadia G (Sick Kitchens with Nadia G), and Chris Grundy (Grillin’ Up the Party).

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Of the 70 original series developed for ulive, about 35 are already available.