Viacom is sympathetic to Time Warner’s “TV Everywhere” says CEO Philippe Dauman who said the company was “very open” to experimenting with models that would allow cable, satellite and telco TV subscribers to view cable content online. “We think it has to be seamless to the consumer, and we’re working [with the distributors] on the consumer and technology side,” he said.
Viacom, which represents 20 per cent of the ad-supported cable market in total viewers, has been particularly aggressive in experimenting with ad-supported streaming of its full-length content, often to the frustration of its cable distributors. At the end of 2008, Viacom which controls MTV, Nickelodeon and VH1 got into a heated contract renewal with Time Warner Cable after asking for a subscriber-fee increase of 15 per cent, despite streaming some of its most popular shows for free online.
Dauman pointed that for network customers they were investing more in exclusive video-on-demand programming for the cable distributors. “(We) provide great value to them, and they won’t give us additional money for nothing. But whenever we’ve gone into a discussion with them, we have HD offerings to provide; we have more VOD we can give them. There’re a lot of things that we can do for them that create value for them and justifies their paying more to us.”