Thursday, March 14, 2013

TV Everywhere - Boom or Bust?

Slingbox HD
I travel to almost an excessive level for work and that put me in a position very early on for adopting some kind of a "TV Everywhere" mindset. If my providers could not deliver it, technology would, hence I installed a slingbox about 3+ years ago. It of course was not the perfect solution but it was a reasonable work around while the industry came to grips with getting the consumer's the product that they wanted.  It was slightly before that time bellwethers Comcast and Time Warner proposed the TV Everywhere initiative and cable executives were hailing it a savior for the industry amid new kinds of competition.

So where are we now? Well earlier this week during a panel about TV at the 4A's conference in New Orleans the general consensus of an esteemed panel industry leaders was that the TV Everywhere initiative hasn’t worked so well. “It's awful from a consumer standpoint and I'm embarrassed," said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports at Turner Broadcasting System.  Although the premise of TV Everywhere seems like a is a fairly straightforward one, NBCUniversial's new EVP, Lauren Zalaznick said that "TV Everywhere's biggest problem is that no one can agree on what TV Everywhere really means".

 A growing number of network executives have been moaning about the disparate iterations of TV Everywhere. Every network seems to have a different way to handle it and frustration abounds.  From a consumer perspective, knowing that all the video -- live and recorded -- is truly available from any access point goes a long way in clarifying the confusion that seems to stymie usage. If the user doesn’t have to second-guess whether and where each piece of content resides, then TV Everywhere has a shot at becoming a reflex.  There is a big market here Netflix, the Super bowl, Olympics and no doubt this year’s March Madness are all proof to this.  TV networks, producers and video service providers need to work together to figure this out — before someone else does! For now I guess I'll just have to stick with my good ole Slingbox. Now where's that suitcase?

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