TV Everywhere Is Gaining Steam

TV Everywhere Is Gaining Steam
– Most Providers Offer Streaming in the Home
-Few Offer Streaming Over Other Networks

When OTT roared this year, with record numbers of viewers
watching content online, pay TV companies listened and began
developing their own multi-screen offerings to combat the
allure of OTT video and reduce churn.

Infonetics Research has called 2012 the watershed year for TV
Everywhere. “TV Everywhere and other multi-screen video
initiatives are fundamentally changing the TV business model,”
said directing analyst Jeff Heynen, “in an effort to make the
TV the hub of the digital home.”

Pay TV companies have all agreed that TV Everywhere is an
important emerging component of the future of TV. All of the
large pay TV companies now offer some sort of streaming option
to subscribers.

So far, TV Everywhere initiatives have been slow to roll out
and slow to catch on. Content owners have been sluggish to
allow pay TV companies to offer content to subscribers outside
of the house, or on different devices. Many of the TV
Everywhere initiatives only allow viewers to stream content
using the in-home Wi-Fi, instead of allowing subscribers to
access content truly over-the-top. Dish Network is an outlier
here: it says subscribers can access any and all content,
linear, VoD as recorded, on any device over any network.

Most offerings are available on personal computers, not mobile
devices such as tablets and smartphones. While service
providers want to offer as much content as possible,
consolidated on their own branded apps, content owners want to
drive viewers to channel Web sites to access content in order
for them to track views and ratings.

Many subscribers aren’t even aware of the TV Everywhere
offerings. Only 20% of subscribers were aware of their service
providers’ multi-screen options in a survey conducted by Parks
Associates earlier this year. Service providers may be
reluctant to advertise streaming options because they aren’t
revenue-generating features: Most of the TV Everywhere apps
are free, perhaps partly due to the popularity of free OTT
apps, which has led consumers to expect free multi-screen
access to content.

Multi-screen events, such as the Summer Olympics and the US
presidential election, serve to raise awareness and demand for
TV Everywhere options, and the surge of on-demand content,
available online and across multiple devices, which is
changing the way consumers watch TV and will propel these
companies to expand their TV Everywhere offerings in the
future.

US Pay TV Companies Offering TV Everywhere
Here’s a round-up of the pay TV companies and their TV
Everywhere options.

-Comcast: The Xfinity TV app gives subscribers access to some
linear channels and VoD offerings over any Internet
connection. The Xfinity app is available on both Apple and
Android devices (including mobile) and has been downloaded 6
million times. Subscribers can watch “most” of the linear
content on iOS and Android tablets using the home Wi-Fi with
the lease of an AnyPlay box, which costs $10 per month.

Xfinity subscribers can watch premieres of some TV shows
before they air on linear TV and access extra footage and
content. Recently, Comcast added a Web portal for fall shows.
Comcast also allows triple-play subscribers to stream some TV,
including ESPN and CNN, to connected devices inside and
outside the home. Comcast said its Xfinity Streampix has
streamed over 1.5 billion titles across multiple devices.

Comcast delivers Viacom content via its Xfinity Web site, but
not its Xfinity mobile apps. Comcast also offers content from
Scripps Networks, including HGTV, Food Network, and the Travel
Channel via the Streampix streaming video app.

-Time Warner Cable (TWC): Time Warner Cable (TWC) subscribers
can watch around 200 linear channels on Macs, PCs and other
iOS devices when connected to the home Wi-Fi.

TWC allows subscribers to stream linear and on-demand content
from ESPN networks to PCs. TWC has signed a license deal with
Viacom to distribute content to subscribers over-the-top,
outside the home. TWC offers subscribers access to six Viacom
channels, including Comedy Central, Spike, VH1, Nickelodeon,
BET and MTV, on demand through a Web browser. Mobile platforms
are not included in the deal, so subscribers aren’t able to
use tablets or smartphones to access the content outside the
home. TWC has an agreement with Viacom to deliver content over
the top to PCs, tablets and smartphones inside the
subscriber’s home – for both Android and iOS devices.

-DirecTV: DirecTV offers subscribers live TV on iPads when
connected to their homes’ Wi-Fi. NFL Sunday Ticket Max
subscribers can stream football games over the top to mobile
devices. DirecTV’s Nomad app allows subscribers to download
shows on the home DVR to watch offline. That app is available
on Macs, PCs and iPhones.

DirecTV offers pay TV channels on connected Samsung devices,
but not as an app. Both the sending and receiving devices need
a technology called RVU. DirecTV’s RVU server, which is used
instead of a traditional STB, send to RVU-capable TV sets the
shows and user interface, and it provides access to other
features such as DVR functions like pause, shared storage,
picture-in-picture and the ability to record up to five shows
at once.

-Dish Network: Dish’s TV Everywhere solutions are, by far,
the most extensive. It has integrated the Sling adapter into
its DVR that allows subscribers to stream all linear TV and
recorded content to PCs and mobile connected devices over any
network. Users can download remote apps on their connected
devices to access content. Subscribers also have access to VoD
offerings on their iPads.

-Cablevision: Cablevision subscribers can watch around 300
linear TV channels on iOS devices when connected to home Wi-
Fi. Subscribers also have access to HBO Go and Cinemax Go, on
the devices that carry those apps (including Xbox 360, Roku,
Samsung smart TVs and Kindle Fire)

-Cox: Cox offers 30 linear TV channels on the iPad, when
using the home Wi-Fi connection. Starz launched its first TV
Everywhere initiative with Cox, giving subscribers access to
1,500. Subscribers can access Starz Play and Encore Play
content via the Starz Web sites for free, with subscription
authentication. Starz also has apps for iOS devices.

-Verizon: In a first among pay TV companies, Verizon has
launched an app for Samsung smart TVs and Blu-ray players that
offer its content on other connected devices. Subscribers to
Verizon’s FiOS TV and broadband can stream 26 of its pay TV
channels and access video-on-demand shows with a free app on
Samsung Smart TV and Blu-ray players that use Samsung’s Smart
Hub platform. The channels currently include CNN, MTV, HBO,
TBS, TNT, Food Network and HGTV, but only if the subscriber
pays for them as part of the pay TV service. The app also lets
subscribers rent and buy from a library of more than 20,000
movies and TV shows that are on Verizon’s FlexView on-demand
service. They can watch them on TV with FiOS STB, PC, Android
and iOS devices, Xbox 360 and now Samsung smart TVs and Blu-
ray players without a STB.

Viacom has a TV Everywhere deal with Verizon that allows
subscribers access to its content through the channel Web
sites, and are available on PCs only.

-AT&T: Subscribers to U-verse can watch on-demand content on
any network using the U-verse app, and offers some linear
content via the app as well. The app is available on iPad, PCs
and Xbox 360. AT&T also offers a U-verse mobile app for the
iPhone and Android phones that allow users to download select
TV shows and watch them outside of the home, using any
Internet connection.

AT&T offers Viacom content to subscribers in and out of the
home on PCs by accessing the content Web sites for channels
BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike and VH1. This
content cannot be accessed on mobile devices, but both
companies have said Viacom content may “soon” become available
on the U-verse apps for those devices.

-TiVo: Not a pay TV company, but TiVo Stream allows users to
stream content recorded on the DVR to iOS devices. The feature
is available in the free TV remote app, and allows users to
download select content to a connected device, in either
standard or high quality to watch offline.

About the Author

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