‘TV Everywhere’ Could Lock Out 7.7M Online Viewers

October 30, 2009

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Media & Entertainment | Television

A new report from media researcher Interpret indicates that if cable operators are successful with their “TV Everywhere” push, it could leave 7.7 million viewers unable to access TV programs online.

TV Everywhere is an initiative under way by Time Warner and Comcast to make cable TV content available across all devices to cable subscribers. If successful, it could potentially allow cable subscribers to access their favorite cable content on other devices, but it would also require that they are cable customers in order to view the content

Currently, the cable operators are saying they will make the content available to subscribers online, at no charge, but some in the industry predict there will eventually be a charge for the content.

This could be potentially problematic, Interpret said, since 11% of all US active streamers of video, or 7.7 million, do not subscribe to cable or satellite. Those viewers would be unable to access content online without subscribing to such a service, writes MediaBuyerPlanner.

The group most affected would be those in the lower average-income bracket, and especially adults in the 18-34 demographic, many of whom stream video online rather than pay for cable or satellite service.

The average income of all age groups that only stream video online, rather than watching television, is $42,314, compared with the $60,054 average income of those who both stream video and subscribe to a cable or satellite service.

Other findings from the report:

  • 12% of males 18-24 only stream video online (rather than subscribing to a cable or satellite service).
  • 14% of males 25-34 only stream video online.
  • 11% of females 18-24 only stream video online.
  • 15% of females 25-34 only stream video online.

Interpret also points out that in addition to potentially losing 7.7 million viewers, another problem for TV Everywhere is that those behind the initiative expect to significantly increase the commercial load within TV shows shown online. Now, shows online include anywhere from a single 20-second ad break to three or four 30-second spots, but TV Everywhere could potentially boost the number of commercial minutes per hour of television to 18.


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