After the TV Everywhere breakfast panel in New York earlier this month, I was surprised at the level of pessimism from reporters about the near future of online TV from cable and telco operators. Steve Donahue of Contentinople said: “A lack of standards and a legal debate may keep the cable industry’s ‘TV Everywhere’ efforts from being widely deployed for at least another two years.” And David Kaplan at Paid Content quoted CBS Interactive’s Quincy Smith extensively saying that the concept “won’t reach critical mass until perhaps 2014.”
Oddly, I had a different take on the TV Everywhere breakfast, coming away with the perspective that operators are trying a lot of different things, but that many are committed to aggressive rollouts of TV Everywhere service. And news today suggests that the TV Everywhere train is rolling right along.
Todd Spangler at Multichannel News has two stories up this morning about Time Warner Cable and Verizon TV Everywhere initiatives. We’ve heard before that TWC had a plan in the works, and now the operator says it is starting a 5,000-person trial along the lines of the Comcast trial already underway. Verizon, meanwhile, is partnering with Time Warner Inc. to launch FiOS TV Online. The telco trial will start with content from TNT and TBS.
Interestingly, unlike the Comcast move to make TV content available from a Comcast-branded site (Fancast.com or Comcast.net), Verizon, and possibly Time Warner Cable will authenticate subscribers at multiple sites for online viewing. Panelists at the TV Everywhere breakfast expressed belief that ultimately operators will all move to the latter model.