Monday, September 12, 2011

Does NBC Need Hulu; TV Everywhere Takes Another Step Forward

Despite being a partner in Hulu, NBC is moving forward with its own mobile app for through the iPad. "NBC upgraded its iPad app Thursday so users can watch entire shows on their tablets." Good news for viewers and hopefully more viewers for NBC TV shows. This new follows on the heels of other articles touting TV Everywhere, including the NY Times article on Turner. While NBC isn't requiring viewers to have cable subscriptions, TBS and TNT will offer its shows to authenticated cable customers through apps. Certainly NBC represents a broadcast network while Turner has cable network. Still NBC affiliate stations are pushing for license fees from cable markets and free web viewing could possibly affect those carriage deals. Will all these same shows be available as well for on demand viewing through the cable box?

The other question is what about Hulu. Will NBC offer these same full length shows through Hulu or will have some exclusive product? "The new app also offers customization features that let you follow a show and have it automatically update in the app, rather than having to search for a new episode." Will Hulu viewers gravitate to NBC for these features? And I wonder does this news indicate a change in strategy for NBC and Hulu.

So the recent news of mobile viewing is good news to viewers seeking TV shows that follow them on their schedule. And it certainly continues to increase the value for tablets. TV distribution continues to push itself outside the cable box and away from linear watching. Viewers watch on our terms and this availability is overall good news.