Time Warner Cable will be allowing subscribers the ability to stream live TV on their mobile devices even outside their service area, which will be a first in the pay TV industry. TV Everywhere service is very much in demand, especially since more consumers have come to depend on their smartphones and tablets for entertainment. However, subscribers could not make use of their pay TV subscription if they traveled out of their service area—until now.
Because not all content deals are in place yet, only a few channels are available for streaming outside the Time Warner cable service areas. Viacom channels such as Comedy Central, Nickelodeaon, VH1, and MTV can be accessed, as well as regional sports networks like the Pac-12 and Big 10 Network (BTN).
The only thing preventing Time Warner Cable from offering more channels to their subscribers is the fact that content providers may be loathe to offer broadcast rights that allow mobile streaming anywhere outside the home. It may be especially difficult to obtain agreements with NBCUniversal, since the broadcaster was purchased in full by cable rival Comcast (which is also the nation’s largest triple play provider).
So far, other major broadcasters like ABC, CBS, and Fox have been reluctant to grant full mobile streaming rights. Local TV stations have also played hardball, and are not likely to include mobile streaming rights anytime soon. That said, there’s no reason true TV Everywhere can’t ever happen. With Time Warner Cable’s latest move, the spread of true TV Everywhere service will hopefully come sooner rather than later.