VentureBeat talks with Fox News VP of digital Jeff Misenti, and breaks some news regarding the cable channel’s online plans. Among the revelations: FNC is very close to launching a “TV Everywhere” authentication plan, which would allow cable subscribers to watch live FNC programming on laptops, iPads and mobile devices, and will also be launching a channel on Microsoft’s Xbox videogame console.
Politics will obviously play a big roll in Fox’s 2012 digital strategy, and dictates much of the new changes to Fox News’ website. The company is redoing its look to accommodate interactive live video of candidates, as well as more compatibility for tablets and smartphones. Misenti explained Fox sees the mobile Web as just an extension of the regular, computer accessed Web. It deserves just as rich an experience as applications get. Fox will try to emulate this richness with interactive maps developed in Java and CSS, rather than Flash and other website adjustments.
The “TV Everywhere” initiative is the most significant, but as with all of these deals, it depends on carriage agreements. CNN offers the service, but only to cable and satellite partners that pay it an added fee, according to someone familiar with the matter. As a result only a small percentage of people that get CNN on cable can take advantage of its “TV Everywhere” capability.
It isn’t clear whether FNC is taking the same approach, or letting all cable subscribers access the content. CNN’s strategy might lead to more revenue, but letting customers access content on the go is clearly where the future of consumption is going, and FNC has a chance to get ahead of its competition in that field if it chooses to.