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TV Everywhere still 3 years away? Panel says: Yes

Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown
Making authentication simple is the key to truly getting TV Everywhere, panelists said.
It will be at least three years until TV everywhere is full implemented, but the marketing and promotion of it will begin in earnest across all sports in the next six months, said a panel of broadcasters and distributors during a session at the ’12 Sports Media & Technology Conference entitled, “Authentication: TV Everywhere Challenges & Opportunities.” Jeremy Legg, SVP of business development and multi-platform distribution at Turner Broadcasting Systems, said, “The number of programmers that either have not launched TV everywhere or completed TV everywhere deals is getting smaller. Everyone will be on the playing field relatively soon or sooner. Some people will be on the 10 yard line. Some people will be on the 50 yard line.” Reaching a point where everyone has those rights, Legg said, is critical to breaking through and making TV everywhere pervasive.

The challenges of TV Everywhere

Jeremy Legg, Turner Broadcasting System
Damon Phillips, ESPN3
Matthew Strauss, Comcast Cable
Gary Zenkel, NBC Olympics

Matthew Strauss, Comcast Cable’s SVP, digital and emerging platforms, said the effort also will require heavy marketing so that consumers know what TV everywhere is and what content they can access. Strauss: “We can’t assume people are going to understand this. It will require meaningful marketing. When customers understand the value, it will be consumed.” Gary Zenkel said that the process could move quicker if cable and satellite distributors develop systems to reduce the amount of information that consumers must enter to authenticate their subscriptions and watch live sports on any platform at any time. He said that Comcast developed technology that automatically made Olympics video available to its subscribers during the London Games.Zenkel: “You’re going to lose people every time you require them to put in some personal information. When the industry gets to a point where that information is not necessary or minimized, people are going to blow through the gates. We saw examples of that in London. We were incredibly encouraged by that.”

Damon Phillips, Vice President, ESPN3, added that another development that would accelerate the process would be requiring only one authentication that would cover every outlet, from ESPN to Turner to Fox to NBC. Phillips: “When I sign in at a Turner site, I should be able to come to ESPN and not have to sign in.” Strauss said that the cable industry didn’t help itself by calling the process “authentication.” Strauss: “It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.” But he added that the cable industry has “gotten smarter” with the process by doing automatic authentication – by checking IP addresses – so that people at home don’t have to do anything but click “Play.” Strauss: “All of these things are evolving. You want to make it easy and seamless, but it has to be secure. It has to be secure from a rights standpoint.”
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Related Topics:

Media, Olympics

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