While holes still remain in the TV Everywhere tapestry, a flurry of agreements for authenticated content shows the industry is pushing harder as 2012 draws to a close to stitch together more compelling multiscreen video services.
TVE is a key component of the longterm carriage deal between Cox Communications and The Walt Disney Co. struck last week. As part of the new multiyear agreement, authenticated Cox subscribers now have access to WatchESPN, Watch Disney Channel, Watch Disney XD and Watch Disney Junior. The Cox deal marks the third major renewal deal for Disney after it reached similarly broad deals with Comcast and Cablevision Systems.
Cox is “enabling our customers to access their favorite news, sports and entertainment video content whenever and wherever they want it,” Mark Greatrex, the MSO’s chief marketing and sales officer, said in a statement.
Other TV Everywhere developments last week:
A+E Networks launched its first iPad video apps for A&E, History and Lifetime with free access to full episodes of the networks’ original series and announced a TV Everywhere deal with Comcast, under which the MSO’s subscribers can access even more content. The free apps provide a sampling of full episodes, movies and exclusive clips of A+E programming, including current and previous seasons of: Storage Wars and Duck Dynasty on A&E; Pawn Stars and Swamp People on History; and Dance Moms and Project Runway on Lifetime. Comcast Xfinity TV customers will have access to additional content, including full previous seasons of select series. A+E said it expects to add more distributors in early 2013.
Comcast video subscribers can now use the Xfinity TV Player app to download thousands of premium TV shows and movies from Showtime, Starz, Encore and MoviePlex to their Apple or Android smartphones or tablets. That content includes Showtime’s Homeland and Dexter and Starz’s Spartacus and Magic City, as well as movies from Starz such as Cars 2 and The Muppets.
Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV became the third distributor to ink a pact with NFL Network to provide access to live programming online, including Thursday Night Football games and the Sunday RedZone channel, along with Cox and Cablevision. The “Watch NFL Network” service is available to FiOS TV customers who receive NFL Network and NFL RedZone as part of their TV package.