Advanced Television

TW and Verizon join web pay-TV trials

August 31, 2009

Time Warner Cable and Verizon plan to test systems to offer shows on the Web to their pay TV subscribers following Comcast's example in the TV Everywhere initiative.

Pay-TV companies are concerned that the recession-resistant subscription revenue of cable television could be undermined if cable shows became widely available over the Web, effectively cutting out the cable and satellite TV operators.

Time Warner Cable said its web authentication trial will include the NBC Universal Syfy channel; Time Warner’s TNT, HBO and TBS; Cablevision Systems Corp’s AMC, IFC and Sundance Channel; and BBC’s BBC America. CBS and Discovery are also involved in the trial. The test involves making TV shows available on the Web to 5,000 homes of paying subscribers. They will be able to access the shows on the networks’ own websites, as well as on Time Warner Cable’s Web properties.

Verizon, meanwhile, will launch a TV Everywhere trial of its FiOS TV online with programming from Time Warner’s Turner networks, TNT and TBS for no extra cost to FiOS subscribers. DirecTV Group Inc, the largest U.S. satellite TV provider, is also working on a version of TV Everywhere.

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