Alan Weissberger Mutliscreen Video

“TV Everywhere” Gaining Market Traction with Live Linear added to VoD

“TV Everywhere (TVE)” services have begun to pick up momentum among programmers and pay-TV providers, according to some industry executives who have seen a surge of interest among subscribers, especially on major stories such as the recent Boston bombing and its aftermath shown on CNN.

Up till now, TV Everywhere has been mostly a video-on-demand service, a way for subscribers to watch replays of their favorite shows on second screens.  But with CNN and ABC leading the way, live-streaming of linear channels is starting to gain market traction.

The Diffusion Group surveyed 1,000 online video viewers (which represent close to nine in ten adult broadband users) as to their perceptions regarding the delivery of live linear content via a TVE service. Instead of only having access to on-demand content (which comprises most of today’s TVE offerings), they would receive real-time TV transmissions over broadband so that they can access live TV on any net-connected device.  More than 80% of respondents rate anywhere/anytime live linear access to their pay-TV channels as valuable.  And nearly two-thirds (64%) ranked the real time TV application as highly valuable.

“We think that the time spent will be very high, particularly as people flow between devices,” CNN Digital’s Alex Wellen said. A DISH Network executive predicts that TV Everywhere will become particularly popular among out-of-home mobile device users.

“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 real time video signals of local network affiliates (over the air broadcasts) for a monthly fee. It has drawn legal challenges from the networks because of its refusal to pay rights fees to them.  Yet it is now expanding beyond its orginal New York city area.

“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, said, “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.”

And we certainly agree!  In fact, live sports is the reason many people subscribe to cable, satellite or telco TV.  And this author would ONLY consider buying a smart phone if it could receive live games (MLB, NHL, NBA, NFL) in real time (with good video quality) via 3G/4G or WiFi.



Author Alan Weissberger

By Alan Weissberger

Alan Weissberger is a renowned researcher in the telecommunications field. Having consulted for telcos, equipment manufacturers, semiconductor companies, large end users, venture capitalists and market research firms, we are fortunate to have his critical eye examining new technologies.

3 replies on ““TV Everywhere” Gaining Market Traction with Live Linear added to VoD”

TV Everywhere got introduced more than 2 years ago but the speed of implementation has been rather slow with some visible signs emerging lately. It is a big opportunity or rather a necessity for providers to keep its subscribers engaged and strengthen their bond with programming networks. Live, Sports content and availability outside the home network will be remain the key for its success

TV Everywhere is really the extension of VoD and live, linear video to “second screens.” WSJ reports: “By offering so-called second-screen content synchronized with the broadcast, the networks hope they can persuade viewers to watch programming live, instead of on a digital video recorder several days after their initial broadcasts are recorded. When viewers watch on DVRs, they often skip over ads. In addition, networks want to attract more digital-ad dollars.”

Alan, thanks for this summary of TV everywhere. The report I wrote a couple years ago for MRG described a continuum of features that make up multiscreen video services. On one extreme is better content navigation and discovery and on the other extreme of this continuum are live streaming to various screens.

As content deals are renewed (e.g. the NFL) and the content owners see there is new money to be made not (as my old friend Pablo used to say), “Just stealing from Peter to pay Paul,” more and more content is becoming available on different devices via different transport mechanisms.

Coincidentally, we have published multiple videos recently regarding how operators are staying on top of a trend that started with upstart Over-The-Top video providers years ago:

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