Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) announced today that it has partnered with Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK) to develop broad principles for the TV Everywhere model to guide the distribution of its television content online. The agreement between the companies will make it possible for Comcast customers to access programming from Turner Broadcasting's award-winning entertainment networks free online and on demand. In addition, Comcast announced it will begin a national technical trial of its "On Demand Online" service in July carrying programming from Time Warner's Turner networks TNT and TBS.
The companies endorsed a framework that would bring significantly more television content to customers online in a manner that is consumer-friendly, pro-competitive and non-exclusive. To ensure rapid adoption and deployment of online television content across the industry, a set of principles for the TV Everywhere model was designed to be simple and attractive for any programmer and any video distributor to elect to adopt.
The companies agreed to the following principles:
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.
Time Warner Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes said: "TV Everywhere is no longer just a concept, but a working model to deliver consumers more television content over broadband than ever before. We consistently look to make our popular, branded content more accessible to consumers in order to grow our business. This progressive approach to delivering television content online will enable the continued vibrancy and growth of distribution outlets, their content partners and advertising clients."
Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast said, "Today's announcement is all about giving our customers exponentially more free content, more choice and more HD programming online as well as on TV. We have been working for a year to bring more TV and movie content to our customers online and we are thrilled that Time Warner is joining us in our national technical trial. Ultimately, our goal is to make TV content available to our customers on all platforms."
The innovative agreement for this national On Demand Online technical trial will deliver more TNT and TBS programming online, free of charge to Comcast video customers, than previously available. Comcast customers in the trial will be able to access TNT's award winning programming like The Closer and Saving Grace, as well as the TBS line-up including Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns and My Boys. The shows will be initially accessible on Comcast.net, Fancast.com and will soon be available on TNT.tv and TBS.com.
The On Demand Online technical trial will involve premium long-form content with approximately 5,000 customers. The trial period will be dedicated to testing the new authentication technology on a national basis that will enable secured access to the content. This national trial will give customers an opportunity to explore the service and provide feedback that will help to shape the service over time. The initial trial is the first phase of a multi-phase rollout that will expand the amount of content, features and functionality of the service as subsequent iterations are implemented.
In the coming weeks, Comcast expects other programming networks to participate as the nationwide trial expands. Time Warner expects to announce similar trials with other distributors.
About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) (www.comcast.com) is the nation's leading provider of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 24.1 million cable customers, 15.3 million high-speed Internet customers, and 6.8 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
Comcast's content networks and investments include E! Entertainment Television, Style Network, Golf Channel, VERSUS, G4, PBS KIDS Sprout, TV One, ten sports networks operated by Comcast Sports Group and Comcast Interactive Media, which develops and operates Comcast's Internet businesses, including Comcast.net (www.comcast.net). Comcast also has a majority ownership in Comcast-Spectacor, whose major holdings include the Philadelphia Flyers NHL hockey team, the Philadelphia 76ers NBA basketball team and two large multipurpose arenas in Philadelphia.
About Time Warner Inc.
Time Warner Inc., a global leader in media and entertainment with businesses in television networks, filmed entertainment, publishing and interactive services, uses its industry-leading operating scale and brands to create, package and deliver high-quality content worldwide through multiple distribution platforms. For more information about Time Warner Inc., please visit www.timewarner.com.
About Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.