I watch video on the web all the time, but there’s something missing: all those great television shows from cable networks. Our plan is to give our video customers free online access to their favorite cable television that they are already paying to watch on TV. We have partnered with Time Warner, Inc to create a simple set of principles to help this process, and to essentially bring more TV online (that has not yet been available).

Here are the principles in a nutshell:

  • Bring more TV content, more easily to more people across platforms.
  • Video subscribers can watch programming from their favorite TV cable 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.

What does this mean for you? Basically when we launch On Demand Online, you’ll be able to watch Turner Broadcasting’s entertainment networks free online and On Demand if you’re a Comcast video subscriber. Sounds good, but when will you be able to do it?

For now, we’re calling this effort On Demand Online, and we’ll be launching a national technical trial with 5,000 customers soon to help us test authentication technology that will enable secured access to content and make sure that the viewing experience is up to snuff. We expect other cable networks to participate in the On Demand Online trial adding more and more content.

We’ll be posting more about On Demand Online in the coming days and weeks.