TVNewsCheck Focus on New Media

TV Everywhere Is Top Of Everyone's Mind

So far, TV Everywhere has been mostly a video-on-demand service, a way for subscribers to cherry pick their favorite shows to watch on second screens. But with CNN and a handful of others leading the way, live-streaming of linear channels is starting to get traction. Even broadcasters are getting in on the act.
TVNewsCheck,

During the dramatic search for the Boston Marathon bombers in April, CNN saw a massive usage spike, maybe the biggest ever, for its authenticated TV Everywhere live-streaming service.

CNN had recorded other surges on the service since its launch in July 2011, Alex Wellen says, VP of business products and strategy at CNN Digital. "But we'd never quite seen anything like what happened with the Boston manhunt. It had the hallmarks of a story made for CNN and told through technology."

Story continues after the ad

The experience removed doubts at CNN that TVE streaming was the way to go. "The more we can clarify and connect people with live TV, the better off we are," says Wellen. "There's a lot of room for building the awareness and building that connection and we think more and more we'll recruit users of [TVE]. We think that the time spent will be very high, particularly as people flow between devices."

Multichannel video programming distributors — aka cable and satellite operators — began launching TVE services four years ago, offering "authenticated" subscribers the ability to receive popular cable programming networks on their tablets and smartphones by downloading an app. The intent was to discourage cord-cutting, which was just beginning to rear its head.

Today, in partnership with programmers like CNN, the top 10 MVPDs (including DirecTV and Dish), some second-tier cable operators, AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS all offer flavors of TVE. They haven't set the world on fire. After all, pay TV operators were simply giving subscribers another way to access what they were already receiving on their big screens.

But for the most part so far, TVE has been a video-on-demand service, a way for subscribers to cherry pick their favorite shows to watch on second screens. But with CNN and a handful of others leading the way, live-streaming of linear channels is starting to get traction. Even broadcasters are getting in on the act.

Brand Connections

"With TV Everywhere, I think the next major move is the out-of-home linear offering," says Bruce Eisen, president of Digital Advisors, and former VP of online content development and strategy at Dish Network.

Disney/ABC has been early proponent of TVE streaming, offering ESPN, ESPN3, Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior.

Fox has been streaming the Big Ten Network for a couple of years and Time Warner plans to offer TBS and TNT later this year.

Intrigued by the opportunity to reach mobile devices, three of the Big Four broadcast networks — ABC, NBC and Fox — have said they will offer their O&Os over the platform and encourage their affiliates to do the same. Only CBS remains on the sideline.

"The piece that becomes more important for broadcasters is going to be whatever happens with mobile, the ability to get live broadcast signals on a mobile device," says Barry Lucas, SVP-research, Gabelli & Co., who has been following the TVE action.

"I think we're likely to see all of the networks make live TV Everywhere available," adds Will Richmond, who writes about digital video on his VideoNuze blog.  "It's a way of bringing back some of the live viewership and blunt some of the appeal Aereo is sucking out of the market."

Aereo is the Barry Diller-backed IP service that is offering all consumers access to signals of local network affiliates for a monthly fee. It has drawn legal challenges from the networks because of its refusal to pay rights fees to them.

ABC got a jump on the other two broadcast networks in May when it began streaming its O&Os in New York (WABC) and Philadelphia (WPVI). An open-access introductory period that runs until the end of June allows anyone with a broadband connection to watch the stations. Thereafter, the live-streaming service will be available only to authenticated cable and satellite customers.

ABC said that its other six stations will join the party later this year. Also later this year, Hearst Television will put its 13 ABC affiliates on the platform.

Disney/ABC's decision to serve up its stations via TVE stems from the success that it has had with its cable networks. According to the company, authenticated MVPD subscribers have downloaded more than 15 million apps to get the Disney cable networks over the past year.

"While we are still in the very early days, the feedback we’ve received has been very positive and we are working diligently towards increasing distribution of these services in more markets across the country," says Ben Pyne, president, global distribution, Disney/ABC Television Group.

Mike Biard, EVP-distribution, Fox Networks, says his early experience with the Big Ten Network and TVE has been positive, too.

"Access to local news programming on whatever device is in hand will be huge, but we think sports is the giant killer app for live streaming," he says.

Tags

Comments (1) -

Rocker Nickname posted a year ago
The answer to capped data plans is mobile DTV (broadcast) technology. As far as IP-delivered TV Everywhere "cash register may start ringing" - it better, because CDN bandwidth costs with a scaled audience will be far beyond negligible. Haven't see anyone writing about that piece (costs) of the TVE equation yet.

Classifieds

Marketshare Blog Playout Blog

Twitter

TVNewsCheck

Ratings

Overnights, adults 18-49 for July 30, 2014
  • 1.
    1.5/5
  • 2.
    1.5/5
  • 3.
    1.3/5
  • 4.
    1.1/4
  • 5.
    0.9/3
  • 6.
    0.3/1
Source: Nielsen
Reviews
Opinions
Features
  • Joanne Ostrow

    Visually stunning, at first WGN America's Manhattan seems a dreamy trip to the past with a range of engaging characters and a Big Band soundtrack. Below the surface, it is a nightmarish accounting of the moral dilemmas of the scientists at the time, the top-secret Manhattan Project, moving us to ask the same profound questions. It's a well-crafted, historically based drama that conveys the anxieties of the U.S. during World War II, the bias against women and minorities in general and female scientists in particular, the super secrecy of the project and the runaway egos at war in an unnatural little village, "Harvard with sand" — in the New Mexico desert. The first two episodes left me craving more.

  • Tom Conroy

    The title character of USA’s new dramedy Rush — a disgraced L.A. doctor who makes cash-only house calls for clients who have something to hide — both behaves and allows other people to behave in reprehensible ways, but we’re supposed to think of him as a lovable scamp. Since the creators clearly haven’t thought through the show’s ethics, viewers who just want to have a good time shouldn’t either. The attractive cast and glossy cinematography provide enough distraction.

  • Mark Dawidziak

    While FX's The Strain is pretty much a cauldron churning with familiar ingredients, the dark brew bubbling inside is served up with a great deal of panache. No there's nothing terribly profound or original here, but The Strain gets off to a robust start and moves at a lighting pace. It keeps thundering along, packed with fun performances and nifty visual treats (and tricks, for that matter).

  • Hank Stuever

    If you guide your hopes to a slightly lower orbit, CBS’s futuristic summer series Extant, starring Oscar-winner Halle Berry, isn't the space disaster one might have feared — especially if you supply your own oxygen in the form of harmless mockery. As with nearly every piece of sci-fi television programming that lands on my desk, Extant quickly runs up its credit cards when it comes to borrowing imagery and ideas from other classics.

  • David Wiegand

    HBO should consider adding an advisory to the start of each of the 10 episodes of The Leftovers. It might read something like, "Viewers who have had suicidal thoughts strongly cautioned." Or: "Drink plenty of coffee before you begin watching this. Keep the pot percolating." Or: "Hogwash alert." The show moves at a glacial pace with virtually no explanation of what is happening. It's confusing, slow-moving and often excruciating. With The Leftovers, we know very little and care less and less as the story slouches along.

This advertisement will close automatically in  second(s). You will see this ad no more than once a day. Skip ad