Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Charter Communications have recently secured TV Everywhere content deals, which the cable MSOs are hoping is a good enough reason for satellite TV customers to make the switch. This follows years of media rights negotiations, which finally caught up to market demand and existing technology just this year. The technology for TV Everywhere already existed—it was a matter of securing mobile rebroadcasting rights, which many major networks are loathe to do.
The fear of live mobile video streaming has its roots in the near demise of the music industry and the complete decimation of the record store. There is always a fear of new entertainment formats, especially if content providers are unsure of how to generate revenue. Fortunately, content providers are embracing market demand and technological progress—which is why Time Warner Cable, Charter, and Comcast (also the owner of NBCUniversal) have finally been able to include mobile streaming rights in the new contracts.
In contrast, satellite TV providers DirecTV and Dish Network can only offer limited TV Everywhere content. Neither satellite provider offers the extensive free Entertainment On Demand options that cable MSOs provide, which include popular primetime original series from CBS, NBC, ABC, Fox, and popular cable channels like Discovery, Bravo, and Comedy Central. DirecTV and Dish Network are more known for their state-of-the-art DVR technology, though cable MSOs are working on catching up on that aspect as well. Then again, with so much Video On Demand options and live mobile video streaming, there’s less need for DVR recording space.
According to Charter CEO Tom Rutledge, cable’s VOD platform is actually more versatile in terms of serving the needs of today’s pay TV customer. Only time will tell if satellite TV customers will agree with that assessment. Until then, cable customers will finally be able to experience true TV Everywhere after years of anticipation.