Since announcing the inception of TV Everywhere last month, Comcast has
managed to line up a whopping 23 networks to agree to provide their
It started simply
with an agreement between the cable company and Time Warner (owner of
TNT and TBS and, interestingly enough, a cable company as well) to
provide shows online, on demand. Original programming was to be
accessible on Comcast.net and Fancast.net to customers of the cable
company. The idea was to later stream the shows on TNT.tv and TBS.com.
Now? There are 23 networks who've signed up: A&E, AMC, BBC America
, CBS, Cinemax, DIY Network
, Fine Living Network
, Food Network
, Hallmark Channel
, HBO, HGTV, History, IFC, MGM Impact, Starz, Sundance Channel
, TNT, WE tv, E! Entertainment, The Style Network
, G4 and Fearnet. Fearnet is owned by Comcast.
is one of the newcomers, signing on Tuesday. The legacy network already
streams content on CBS.com and TV.com, but doesn't work with Hulu,
which is co-owned by NBC, Fox and ABC and streams their content.
The service will be rolled out in the coming weeks, testing it first with 5,000 Comcast
subscriber households for no extra fee. The shows and movies they'll
get to watch online will not be available online - legally - anywhere
The pilot project will have ads, but hopes are that by offering the
online content to paying cable customers only, they'll be able to make
it an affordable model for online television viewing.
Comcast previously announced its "principles" for TV Everywhere:
- Bring more TV content, more easily to more people across platforms.
- Video subscribers can watch programming from their favorite TV networks online for no additional charge.
- Video subscribers can access this content using any broadband connection.
- Programmers should make their best and highest-rated programming available online.
- Both networks and video distributors should provide
high-quality, consumer-friendly sites for viewing broadband content
with easy authentication.
- A new process should be created to measure ratings
for online viewing. The goal should be to extend the current viewer
measurement system to include advertiser ratings for TV content viewed
on all platforms.
- TV Everywhere is open and non-exclusive; cable,
satellite or telco video distributors can enter into similar agreements
with other programmers.
No one's piped up yet about how to start properly measure online
viewing. A lot of people will be watching that very closely - not only
Nielsen, which has a lot to either gain or lose if a new way of
determining ratings is used, and not only the networks, which are
trying to figure out exactly how many people are watching what, and
when, but also the fans of many shows that have been cut short over
recent years and have fought for such changes to the system.