TV Everywhere from Time Warner, Comcast

Time Warner and Comcast teamed up on an initiative that will allow the latter’s cable subscribers to gain access to Turner Broadcasting System programming online and on-demand free-of-charge. Content from TNT and TBS will be part of the two companies’ “TV Everywhere” model.

Comcast also announced that it will launch a national technical trial of its On Demand Online service in July, also carrying fare from the two Turner networks.

The two companies said TV Everywhere is open and nonexclusive, meaning that cable, satellite or telco video distributors can enter into similar agreements with other programmers.

But TV Everywhere is not without its critics, as GigaOm senior writer Om Malik pointed out that TV Everywhere content is not exempt from the 250-gigabit-per-month bandwidth quota Comcast imposed on its high-speed-Internet customers.

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts said most customers never come close to hitting their monthly quotas, but Malik pointed out that HD-quality video is an entirely different ballgame.

The TV Everywhere principles agreed to by the two media giants:

  • Bring more TV content, more easily to more people across platforms.

  • Allow video subscribers to watch programming from their favorite TV networks online for no additional charge.

  • Allow video subscribers to access this content using any broadband connection.

  • Programmers should make their best and highest-rated programming available online.

  • Both networks and video distributors should provide high-quality, consumer-friendly sites for viewing broadband content with easy authentication.

  • A new process should be created to measure ratings for online viewing, with a goal of extending the current viewer-measurement system to include advertiser ratings for TV content viewed on all platforms.

    The two companies’ head honchos, in today’s release:

    Time Warner chairman and CEO Jeff Bewkes:

    TV Everywhere is no longer just a concept, but a working model to deliver consumers more television content over broadband than ever before. We consistently look to make our popular, branded content more accessible to consumers in order to grow our business. This progressive approach to delivering television content online will enable the continued vibrancy and growth of distribution outlets, their content partners and advertising clients.

    Roberts:

    Today’s announcement is all about giving our customers exponentially more free content, more choice and more HD programming online, as well as on TV. We have been working for a year to bring more TV and movie content to our customers online, and we are thrilled that Time Warner is joining us in our national technical trial. Ultimately, our goal is to make TV content available to our customers on all platforms.