Time Warner and Comcast Start TV Everywhere Trial - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 6 Old 06-24-2009, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
PSound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 4,074
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:


Want to watch The Closer online or via your cable systems Video On Demand offering? Time Warner and Comcast have teamed up to bring a selection of Turner's popular cable shows to a number of online TV destinations and Comcast's VOD platform as part of a broader agreement to shape the TV business for a new era.

Time Warner and Comcast today said viewers will be able to watch a broad range of shows currently airing on TNT and TBS including Saving Grace and Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns and My Boys. The shows will also be available on Comcast.net, Fancast.com and later on TNT.tv and TBS.com.

Quote:


The move is aimed at heading off a phenomenon called cord-cutting which sees subscribers dropping their cable TV subscriptions and instead watching TV online at sites such as Hulu, owned by News Corp., NBC Universal and Disney. CBS Corp.'s TV.com is another such player.

In a statement released this morning the two partners, Time Warner and Comcast, called for a new process to measure ratings for online viewing. The goal should be to extend the current viewer measurement system to include advertiser ratings for TV content viewed on all platforms, read the statement which also outlined several other core principles for bringing TV Everywhere to fruition.

Other principles include the suggestion that networks and video distributors should provide high quality, consumer friendly sites for viewing broadband content with easy authentication. The two companies said that TV Everywhere is open and non-exclusive and will include cable operators, telco video distributors as well as satellite operators.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...here_Trial.php
PSound is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 6 Old 06-24-2009, 03:31 PM
AVS Special Member
 
bgooch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
excerpts

UPDATE 3 Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:45pm EDT

* Time Warner, Comcast roll out plan for more TV on Web

* Approach to be tested in 5,000 households

* Aim to protect cable TV subscriber base

* Time Warner says other cable operators likely to join (Adds analyst comment, updates stock price)

By Paul Thomasch

NEW YORK, June 24 (Reuters) - Time Warner Inc (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) have banded together to test ways to allow people to watch more TV shows over the Web, while making sure they keep paying for their traditional cable or satellite TV services. http://www.reuters.com/articlePrint?...22279120090624

Networks such as A&E and the History Channel, which areowned by a venture of Walt Disney Co., Hearst Inc. and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, along with networks owned by Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corp.'s Rainbow Media are also slated to participate in Comcast's test, according to executives. NBC Universal said it is also in talks to participate in Time Warner Cable's test. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124585459664547783.html
bgooch is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 06-24-2009, 05:16 PM
AVS Special Member
 
bgooch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
excerpts

Comcast will test a technology that can authenticate the viewer as a subscriber — an effort to keep cable content secure online. Users are expected to not only log in with a user name and password, but the system will be able to tell whether you're a subscriber and figure out what channels you've paid for. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...PZAkwD9915UCO0

.... The new service is part of Comcast's "Project Infinity," an on demand initiative announced at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) intended to provide a vast on-demand library to customers throughout the country.

"We'll use our platform to offer a consumer whatever they want, on whatever device they want, whenever they want it," said Comcast chief executive Brian Roberts.

There are security concerns from rights holders when it comes to putting copyrighted material online, but Roberts said this upcoming test will determine the best model to protect the available material.

The Media Access Project was not convinced.

"These new initiatives raise serious legal and policy questions. Putting content behind a paid wall threatens the wide open model which has made the Internet innovative and diverse," Media Access Project vice president Parul Desai said in a statement. "Until now, users have been in control, but the 'experiment' announced today appears to limit customer choice. The American public must be attentive whenever choice, innovation and diversity are threatened."

Late last year, Comcast introduced residential Internet caps of 250GB per month. If more and more customers sign online to watch their favorite TV shows, will Comcast be able to handle the bandwidth? Will customers be seeing increases in their monthly bills?

Roberts was not concerned. "The vast, vast majority – well in excess of 90 percent do not get anywhere close to [250GB]," he said. "It's not something people should focus on."

Bewkes, however, did say that the system will require Comcast and other providers to "build their systems out" to handle excess content.

At this point, there are no plans to offer an online-only subscription format.

"I think what we should do is watch this unfold and see what consumer habits tend to be," Bewkes said. If they ask for it, it's something the companies are not averse to exploring, but it's not something that will be available in the immediate future, he said.

Comcast will first focus on creating a secure and seamless cable to Internet service before exploring other options, Roberts said.

There are also no plans to charge a premium for the service. "If you're a subscriber to video, you paid for it, and we want you to watch it wherever you want to watch it," Roberts said.

Even if that means via Hulu or other Web sites, Bewkes said. There are no plans to remove shows currently streaming on other sites if they become available via On Demand Online.

Washington, D.C.-based interest group Public Knowledge was concerned about the closed nature of TV Everywhere.

"Limiting access to programming is straight out of the cable playbook, going back to the days when Congress had to act in 1992 to allow the satellite programming distributors to have access to cable programming," president and co-founder Gigi Sohn said in a statement. "This new version raises substantial anti-competitive issues by restricting the availability of programming to the favored distribution methods."

Sohn accused the companies of creating "their own 'managed channel' within the Internet and turn the Internet into their own private cable channel" and asked the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Justice Department to investigate. http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2349282,00.asp
bgooch is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 06-24-2009, 05:18 PM
AVS Special Member
 
bgooch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
excerpts

Programming people love

.... But the biggest question, the "elephant in the room" question, as one reporter put it, is whether the purpose of TV Everywhere is to "put the genie back in the bottle"—essentially to replace the free, advertising supported model of online video with a cable dominated pay system that will, by sheer volume, come to dominate the 'Net.

"I don't think there's either a genie or an elephant," Bewkes insisted. "I think what you are talking about here is taking programming people love and making it freely available on the Web. There's no bottle or any other kind of thing."

This announcement is obviously not the first chapter in the story of direct or indirect pay video online. As we recently reported, Lionsgate, Paramount, and MGM have teamed up to start Epix, an HD television channel with online streaming that will be bundled into cable packages. A board member at Hulu is talking about subscription fees. And ESPN360.com charges ISPs for its content, to the displeasure of smaller Internet service providers.

But the TV Everywhere experiment is clearly a lot bigger than that, by intention and by design. "Today's announcement is all about giving our customers exponentially more free content," Roberts declared. Again, free if you subscribe to Comcast or Time Warner cable. http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2009...r-everyone.ars

Media Access Project raised red flags over the programming combination among the studio and the nation's largest cable operator, registering concerns about vertical integration.

"These new initiatives raise serious legal and policy questions," said MAP VP Parul Desai. Putting content behind a paid wall threatens the wide open model which has made the Internet innovative and diverse. Until now, users have been in control, but the "experiment" announced today appears to limit customer choice. The American public must be attentive whenever choice, innovation and diversity are threatened."

Public Knowledge was even tougher. “We are disappointed but not surprised at the announcement this morning by Comcast and Time Warner," said Public Knowledge President Gigi Sohn."It is obvious that their ‘TV Everywhere’ is not TV for Everyone."
“Limiting access to programming is straight out of the cable playbook, going back to the days when Congress had to act in 1992 to allow the satellite programming distributors to have access to cable programming. This new version raises substantial anti-competitive issues by restricting the availability of programming to the favored distribution methods."
http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...here_Trial.php
bgooch is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 06-24-2009, 05:24 PM
AVS Special Member
 
bgooch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
By TIM ARANGO
Published: June 23, 2009

Like newspaper owners, media moguls are looking for new ways to protect their investment from the ravages of the Internet. And, as with the newspaper industry, the answer remains elusive.

Jeffrey Bewkes, top, of Time Warner, and Stephen Burke of Comcast are expected to announce a subscriber test Wednesday.

What is at stake is perhaps the last remaining pillar of the old media business that has not been severely affected by the Internet: cable television. Aware of how print, music and broadcast television have suffered severe business erosion, the chief executives of the major media conglomerates like Time Warner, Viacom and NBC Universal have made protecting cable TV from the ravages of the Internet perhaps their top priority.

“The majority of profits for the big entertainment companies is from cable programming,” said Stephen B. Burke, the president of Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company.

The major worry is that if cable networks do not protect the fees from paying subscribers, and offer most programming online at no cost — as newspapers have done — then customers may eventually cancel their cable subscriptions.

One idea, advanced most vocally by Jeffrey L. Bewkes, the chairman of Time Warner, and embraced by many executives, would be to offer cable shows online for no extra charge, provided a viewer is first authenticated as a cable or satellite subscriber.

Mr. Bewkes has called the idea “TV Everywhere,” but others in the industry refer to it by other names: “authentication,” “entitlement,” and Comcast has called its coming service “OnDemand Online.”

“If you look at TV viewing, it’s up, even though the questions and stories are all about the role of video games and Internet usage and other uses of time,” Mr. Bewkes said.

The first test of the new system, which will authenticate cable subscribers online and make available programs on the Web for no additional charge, will be announced Wednesday, between Comcast and Time Warner. The trial will involve about 5,000 Comcast subscribers, and television shows from the Time Warner networks TNT and TBS.

“We’re talking about taking the TV industry to a new era,” Mr. Bewkes said.

Because of antitrust concerns, the companies that create cable programming are reluctant to come together and agree on a solution. A few weeks ago, newspaper executives held a secretive meeting in Rosemont, Ill., to discuss ways to charge for news online — a gathering that critics said flouted antitrust law.

The electronic media chiefs, including Mr. Bewkes, Jeff Zucker of NBC Universal and Philippe P. Dauman of Viacom, among others, have been more careful, so as to avoid being accused of collusion: much of the discussions have been on the telephone and in private, one-on-one chats during industry events. Pricing is rarely, if ever, discussed, according to executives involved in the discussions.

“We can’t get together and talk about business terms, but we can get together to work on setting open technology standards,” said Mr. Dauman, the chief executive at Viacom, which owns cable networks like MTV, VH1, Comedy Central and BET.

But the problem is that if each goes in different directions — some offering more shows free, others holding them back only for cable subscribers — then the economics of the industry could crumble.

“It’s the classic prisoner’s dilemma,” said Mr. Burke, referring the famous problem in game theory. “If there’s a vacuum, and some start to inch in to the water hoping others will hold back, the whole industry could be affected.”

Unlike broadcast television, which relies solely on advertising, cable networks have another revenue stream: fees paid by cable operators. Comcast, for example, pays Disney roughly $1 billion a year to carry ESPN. This is why Hulu.com, the popular site owned by News Corporation and NBC, is mainly a destination for broadcast shows like “The Office” and “The Simpsons,” and not cable programs.

In some ways, the plan of Mr. Bewkes could be perceived as a direct shot at Hulu, which does offer some cable shows on a delayed basis, after some time has passed since the show was seen on television.

“That stream is so important to every entertainment company that everybody is looking at that and saying, if we are not careful we could start to harm that model,” Mr. Burke said.

There is no sign of that happening anytime soon, but a recent poll by the Sanford C. Bernstein research group found that about 35 percent of people who watch videos online might cut their cable subscription within five years.

“We don’t think that it’s a problem now, but we do feel a sense of urgency,” Mr. Burke said.

And Wall Street is watching closely. The movement of video, whether it be television shows or movies, to the Internet, “is perhaps the single largest investment controversy in the media sector,” Michael Nathanson, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, wrote in a recent report.

Another analyst, Laura Martin of Soleil Media-Metrics, has said that $300 billion of market value — her calculation of the current worth of all the companies involved in television production and distribution — is at stake. She said the risk is that television’s economics could be overturned, just it has for newspapers and music.

One holdout among the major chief executives appears to be Robert A. Iger of the Walt Disney Company. At an industry conference this year he warned that gambits like TV Everywhere could be “anticonsumer and antitechnology” because such a plan would place cable programming behind a pay wall.

Mr. Iger is more interested in finding new ways to get additional fees for online content, a puzzle that has bewildered the newspaper industry.

Last month, Comcast agreed to pay Disney a monthly fee to offer its Internet subscribers ESPN 360, the sports network’s online channel. One analyst, Richard Greenfield of Pali Research, has called that deal “a watershed event for content owners in a broadband world, albeit that event occurred with little to no fanfare.”

Meanwhile, some executives say that TV Everywhere is a simple concept, but that it has major technological hurdles. At one recent meeting of cable executives, a whiteboard displayed a list of nearly 80 potential problems with the service.

“The key is you have to be careful to protect the security” so hackers cannot get in, said Mr. Burke of Comcast.

Mr. Dauman of Viacom said: “It’s not going to be a light switch moment. It’s going to be an evolution.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/bu...ref=television

June 24, 2009, 2:02 pm
Why the Comcast-Time Warner Deal Blasts Open TV
By Saul Hansell

For people who hope the openness and flexibility of the Internet will come to mainstream television, the deal announced Wednesday between Comcast and Time Warner is great news. They just don’t see yet how it blows apart the tight bond between cable content and cable delivery.
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

On the face of it, the deal is all about controls, rules and limits. The two companies are going to test a method for people who pay for Comcast cable TV to watch Time Warner’s cable networks, starting with TBS and TNT, on the Internet. Some very thoughtful technology bloggers have railed against the idea. On Techdirt, Mike Masnick wrote:

Rather than embracing what the Internet allows these companies to do, they’re trying to remove that ability, and make it act like good old television.

Om Malik, on GigaOm, asked why not simply put all cable networks online for free, just as broadcast networks are doing on sites like Hulu:

Cable operators need media company’s channels to overcharge the working stiffs like you and me. Media companies need the cable operators to share subscription revenues to pay for their highly inefficient and archaic businesses.

They’re right of course that this deal, which is meant to be a model for the entire cable and pay TV business, is a response to open video on the Internet to the existing TV business. But Comcast and Time Warner are accepting the reality of the wired world: people want everything, everywhere now.

So why not let the 92 percent of Americans who subscribe to cable or satellite TV watch the channels they already pay for on their computers and cellphones? In the Comcast and Time Warner arrangement, there is no extra charge, so this simply gives customers more choices.

The Time Warner and Comcast deal blows apart the link between content and delivery, and over time that will create many more choices for consumers. Initially, it doesn’t look that way of course. Only cable (or satellite) subscribers get access to the content right away. And then only for a bundle of networks, whether they want those particular networks or not. But once the infrastructure is in place for cable networks to make sure that only paying customers can watch their shows, it will open up a wide range of other business models.

Suddenly, you won’t have to buy your programs and the wires to your home from the same company. It’s not at all hard to imagine “DISH without the Dish,” an Internet-only programming bundle from the satellite company. And then Web sites like Hulu or Netflix or new startups could go to network owners and buy content to sell.

Mr. Masnick and Mr. Malik seem to believe that the media companies are going to sell their networks only through existing cable companies. I don’t see that. The networks have no long-term interest in turning down any distributor who has the money to pay the going rate for their content. And Washington wouldn’t put up with content companies favoring some distributors over others, just as cable networks were forced to sell to satellite companies as well as cable operators.

Of course, the pricing and terms may not be exactly what consumers want. The media conglomerates now force the cable companies to buy their channels in one package — to carry ESPN, Disney wants systems to offer ABC Family as well. They may try to keep selling these bundles as new distributors crop up. With more options and more competition, over time the market will sort out the right products and prices.

This doesn’t mean the demise of the cable systems by any means. They have been very successful selling a bundle that includes a wire to your home and several applications that use the wire — voice-calling and video programs. Many people will still vote for that convenience, especially if the video programs follow them to other devices.

The Time Warner-Comcast deal announced Wednesday creates the technical architecture that allows content and distribution to be separate. And that will enable exactly the sort of openness, and flexibility that technologists root for. (But you may still have to pay money to watch that football game.) http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/0...pagemode=print
bgooch is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 06-28-2009, 01:26 AM
AVS Special Member
 
bgooch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 1,761
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 13
Digital Entertainment June 24, 2009, 11:30PM EST

Want to watch that hit TV show online? You may have to prove you're a cable-TV subscriber first

By Tom Lowry

Amid the rush to make programming available for free online, Time Warner and Comcast are fighting back. The companies on June 24 announced a new model that will require viewers to prove they are cable subscribers before they can stream hit shows online. The announcement puts both companies squarely into the fray of a growing debate over whether people should be forced to pay for content online instead of getting it for free.

In outlining their plans at a press briefing, Time Warner (TWX) and Comcast (CMCSA) carefully framed the initiative as just another way to give consumers programming when and where they want it. "This marks the very logical next evolution of cable TV," Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes said. "Consumers have spoken, no, more like yelled."

What the executives didn't address is the direct threat to their business model because consumers can already get a lot of programming for free, on such sites as Hulu.com, owned by News Corp. (NWS), NBC Universal, and Disney (DIS). The concern for cable is that as more programming becomes available at no charge, consumers will drop pay-TV subscriptions. Such so-called cord-cutting is not occurring yet in big numbers; Time Warner and Comcast want to keep it that way.

They hope other TV networks and service providers will join the effort. A big incentive: More than half of cable networks' revenue comes from the fees that service providers such as Time Warner and DirecTV (DTV) pay. Nobody wants to jeopardize those dollars in tough negotiations with angry service providers upset that programming they pay for is also being given away by the channels for free.
Trial Run, Then National Rollout

Here's how the trial will work: Starting in July, 5,000 Comcast subscribers will be able to see shows online from Turner Broadcasting's TNT and TBS channels, like The Closer and Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns. But first, they each will have to demonstrate that they're a Comcast cable-TV subscriber through a screening called authentication. That most likely will entail a user name and password. Comcast will offer the shows on Comcast.net and Fancast.com, and Turner on TNT.tv and TBS.com. Technology so far is not allowing Turner to stream the shows concurrently when they run on TV but shows will be made available several hours after they air.

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says he hopes to roll out what he is calling Comcast On Demand Online nationally by the end of the year. Bewkes and Roberts conceded their partnership is still very much an experiment and that advertising models still need to be worked out. Both companies are talking to ratings giant Nielsen about coming up with ways to measure audiences for online video that are more consistent with TV measurements.

As for TV networks that agree to sign on, their shows will be available exclusively on the cable service providers' sites or on the networks' own sites for a certain amount of time. In other words, you won't be able to see those shows on sites like Hulu, at least for a certain window of time. "It's a windowed approach to reward paying customers and to provide the advertisers with an opportunity to have their commercials viewed across multiple platforms," says Turner's Andy Heller, the executive in charge of an initiative that Bewkes has dubbed "TV Everywhere." The window time has not been worked out and that issue will certainly be at the center of negotiations between the cable providers and the networks.
Potential Backlash

Either way, the limitations are certain to tick off a vocal digerati, particularly those younger users that Time Warner and Comcast are trying most to reach with online video, particularly because of their appeal to advertisers. Just hours after the June 24 announcement, the ire was already surfacing. "Under the 'TV Everywhere' plan, no other program distributors would be able to emerge, and no consumers will be able to 'cut the cord' because they find what they want online," says Gigi Sohn, president and co-founder of public interest group Public Knowledge. "As a result, consumers will be the losers." Sohn called for the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Justice Dept. to investigate.

The Comcast-Time Warner effort may be the highest-profile effort surrounding the paid-vs.-free debate, but certainly not the first. In increasing numbers, media companies are grappling with how to be compensated for online offerings. What they face is having to change a generational mindset that assumes everything on the Internet should be free.

Despite a potential backlash, more and more media businesses are "waking up to the fact that free is bad," says Bernstein & Co. media analyst Michael Nathanson. "That wasn't the case about a year ago, before newspapers started folding." And media outfits may be emboldened by survey results from Bernstein that showed 50% of the 515 consumers it polled in March said they would be willing to be pay for video onlineas much as a dollar for a TV show and $5 for a movie.

That doesn't mean media executives are any less touchy these days, even amid metaphor-mixing reporters. When Bewkes was accused during the June 24 briefing of ignoring the white elephant in the roomthat the media had already let the genie out of the bottle by offering its content for free, the Time Warner CEO snapped back: "There's no elephant. There's no genie."

Lowry is a senior writer for BusinessWeek in New York.
http://www.businessweek.com/print/te...624_924058.htm
bgooch is offline  
Reply Video Download Services & Hardware

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off