Cable Show: Media Leaders Seek Faster Conversion to ‘TV Everywhere’

May 23, 2012  •  Post A Comment

The media industry sent a clear signal to cable operators today at the Cable Show, being put on in Boston this week by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Deadline.com reports. The message: Speed up the arrival of a “TV Everywhere” media environment.

The story reports: “Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and News Corp. COO Chase Carey took the message to The Cable Show this morning, urging attendees to jump on the Internet video bandwagon — even if it means relaxing their grip on the relationship with their customers.”

TV Everywhere is the label that has been adopted for services that will enable subscribers to watch TV on platforms including mobile devices. Said Bewkes: “We’ve just got to do it faster.”

Carey noted: “We get too hung up on protecting the rules of the past,” a reference to pay TV distributors who are wary of relinquishing their role as gatekeepers.

“Many fear that they could lose control once subscribers begin to use an iPad or other device to access shows directly from programmers — without a need for the operator’s set-top box or on-screen guide,” the story reports.

Said Carey: “We’ve got to find a way to make all of these experiences easier to use and more accessible. That requires us to work together.”

Bewkes elaborated: “Let consumers use the interfaces they want. You’ll still have your subscriber relationship. We can’t develop the best, world-class interfaces at the scale that a distribution company has. Silicon Valley, the Internet industry, is a global industry and that’s what they do. We should harness that. … Don’t try to hold that back. Consumers won’t allow it.”

Commenting on some of the obstacles facing cable operators, Cox Communications President Pat Esser said: “Along the way you’ve got to negotiate agreements … and we’ve got to figure out how the economics work. We all have a relationship with the customer. What we have to understand is that this business is becoming more complex.”

Esser noted that the price increases associated with negotiating TV Everywhere distribution rights might end up “disadvantaging people in the marketplace you could have had inside that circle of consumption.”

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