Time Warner Inc. has partnered with Comcast to develop broad principles for the TV Everywhere model to guide the distribution of its TV content online. The agreement between the companies is intended to make it possible for Comcast customers to access programming from Turner Broadcasting’s entertainment networks free online and on demand. In addition, Comcast announced it will begin a national technical trial of its "On Demand Online" service in July carrying programming from Time Warner’s Turner networks TNT and TBS.
The companies endorsed a framework designed to bring significantly more TV content to customers online in a manner that is consumer-friendly, pro-competitive and non-exclusive. To ensure rapid adoption and deployment of online TV content across the industry, a set of principles for the TV Everywhere model was designed to be simple and attractive for any programmer and any video distributor to elect to adopt.
The companies agreed to the following principles:
• Bring more TV content, more easily to more people across platforms.
• Video subscribers can watch programming from their favorite TV networks online for no additional charge.
• Video subscribers can 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. The goal should be to extend the current viewer measurement system to include advertiser ratings for TV content viewed on all platforms.
• TV Everywhere is open and non-exclusive; cable, satellite or telco video distributors can enter into similar agreements with other programmers.
The On Demand Online technical trial will involve premium long-form content with approximately 5,000 customers. The trial period will be dedicated to testing the new authentication technology on a national basis. The national trial will give customers an opportunity to explore the service and provide feedback to help shape the service over time. The initial trial is the first phase of a multi-phase rollout that will expand the amount of content, features and functionality of the service as subsequent iterations are implemented.