Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Turner Follows ABC With Authenticated Live Streaming

Following on the news that ABC will be releasing a live streaming app of its broadcast network in local markets, TNT and TBS have announced a similar venture.  "TBS and TNT are about to become the first national entertainment networks in the industry to stream on-air content live across multiple platforms 24/7, including through the networks’ websites and a pair of newly created Watch TNT and Watch TBS apps."  As national cable networks, Turner (parent of TNT and TBS as well as other cable networks) doesn't need to contend with local broadcast affiliates, which adds wrinkles to the ABC streaming approach. 

Still, they need to revise their cable agreements to support this streaming initiative.  Which cable and satellite networks have signed on board remains to be seen.  But with a Summer launch of the apps, Turner still has time to negotiate deals.  I just wonder whether this addendum comes with any asks on the part of the network or various cable operators.  For operators, streaming brings great added value to the subscription service, but it may hurt local ad sales from lower cable viewership caused by viewers leaving the TV set and no local insertion advertising on the live stream.   Of course it could be argued that these live stream apps also help reduce churn and keep subscribers paying their cable bill.  A tricky negotiation for both sides to support a much asked for TV Everywhere environment. 

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