TV Everywhere


Yesterday on ReadWriteWeb, Mike Berkley penned an article about Comcast’s impending battle with Hulu. He also gave a succinct description of the TV Everywhere ecosystem. There have been other articles about TV Everywhere, but in the spirit of less is more, Berkley’s well-chosen few words nicely summarized it.

Without defending the specific plans of Comcast and Time Warner, technology will soon give rise to TV Everywhere or something like it. Here’s the television landscape of the near future:

comcast_hulu_oct09a

Maybe TV Everywhere won’t entirely succeed. Maybe the associations (i.e., the columns in this graphic) won’t have exactly these entities, or the payment systems won’t work quite as envisioned. It can be hard to forecast what consumers will or won’t accept, or precisely how money will change hands. Still, a new distribution model with this general shape is “duh” obvious. And every entity here will be happier with fewer hops between the content and consumer, because fewer hops means fewer slices in the money pie.

There’s a reason you don’t see any television affiliates, such as KOMO or KING, in the TV Everywhere ecosystem. It’s because television affiliates become road kill. They don’t have a place in this brave new world. And they have no allies. In fact, they’re already dead, but their fearless leaders don’t yet realize it.

Quote:

But in a TV Everywhere world…[your] cable or satellite TV provider will no longer be your only (legal) means of watching the current episode of HBO’s Entourage. In a TV Everywhere world, Entourage will be available on literally thousands of websites and mobile apps, as long as you can authenticate yourself as a paying cable or satellite subscriber with the HBO package.

Berkley didn’t specifically address the affiliates’ death knell. But Matt Wills did, in a comment:

Mike…

Your graphic explains it all. Because of the distribution power of the web any media related company that doesn’t produce it’s own high quality content will perish.

The big losers in this evolution of TV though will be the local TV stations. They are already in survivor mode, struggling to keep what little audience they still have.

I would think network executives have a plan to stream their own high quality content directly to viewers as soon as it’s more profitable than dealing with their affiliates.

Being a television affiliate used to be a means to print money, but now it’s a refuge for those unable to do anything except tee vee. Affiliate management that doesn’t see the approaching freight train will happily drill their shareholders’ value into the ground. Like slow-moving reptiles, they’re too stupid to do anything else. They can only do what they’ve always done, even though the writing’s been on the wall for a while.

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5 comments
  1. Thanks for your write up!

    Cheers,
    Mike

  2. Jeremy Dunck said:

    John,
    Consider the possibility that the executives do very well know that the day is coming, but are confidently proclaiming their bright future just for the sake of bonuses and share prices.

  3. Jeremy Dunck said:

    Also, FWIW, I think the big winners in this future are the realtime CDNs. Since the big content producers haven’t moved to get P2P video ready for prime-time, they’ll be paying huge money to Akamai and similar to shuffle their bits around instead.

    Ahem:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P2PTV#Branded_webtv_service_for_end-users

  4. John said:

    @Jeremy: Good points, both! I hope you’re doing great and having fun. I’m intending to be at PyCon, and I hope we can meet there.

  5. ameyer13 said:

    I have seen some good things coming out of TV Everywhere, I work for DISH Network and the new technology with the Sling Adapter is amazing. It works with an iPhone app called Dish Remote Access and allows users to watch TV in the places where they would usually be bored or need a lift. I use mine on the subway and on business travel which takes the edge off a little. I think this is worth checking out if you have the desire to have TV available whenever you should choose.

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