MediaFile

Time Warner says no advanced degree needed for device management

jeff bewkesTime Warner Chief Executive Jeffrey Bewkes stopped in at the Reuters Global Media Summit and shared his vision for a future where people will get all their entertainment needs on every device, like smart phones, tablets and computers– but said it must be easy for consumers.

“We don’t want in the future for people to have to have  a Phd in device management,” Bewkes told Reuters journalists, but stressed  that the future of the media business clearly lies on “more and more devices not less,” he said.

Bewkes noted Time Warner was the first company to come up with the idea of putting its network and programming out on demand on all platforms at no extra cost, referring to his TV Everywhere initiative that will offer streaming content free to customers who subscribe to cable.

“There (should be) no extra cost to let you as veiwers  watch what you want to watch,” he said. 

When asked if there was a future of broadcast on cell phones he said ease was key.

Comcast’s TV Everywhere might actually work everywhere

Comcast’s Interactive Media president Amy Banse talks on this video clip about the launch of TV Everywhere in December at the NewTeeVee Live 09 event. TV Everywhere, for anyone who’s been on Mars for the last year, is the cable industry’s attempt to make cable programming available over the Web for no extra charge to paying subscribers. Comcast’s version of it will actually be called On Demand Online and is currently on trial with 5,000 Comcast homes. This chat with Banse gives some insight into the largest U.S. cable operator’s plans and includes a couple a couple news nuggets for watchers of this space:

    On Demand Online will launch, as previously hinted, this December. Banse says users will be able to watch their favorite shows with authentication even when they’re away from home (Is this the death of EchoStar’s SlingBox?). It’s not clear from this interview if out of home on demand will work when a user is outside the United States. Each home will have authentications rights to watch their shows on three different devices. One issue Banse acknowledges still needs to be sorted out is the right advertising model to help support this new channel. “We’re in the first inning” she says.

Much more here:

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Comcast’s Fancast tries TV ads to catch Hulu’s coat tails

When most Americans think of where to catch up with episodes of their favorite TV shows on the Web, they more than likely think of Hulu, the online video site owned by NBC, News Corp and Disney that offers free viewing of TV broadcast shows and archive movies. Second to Hulu would probably be YouTube.But not Fancast. Despite being owned by the largest U.S. cable TV operator Comcast, it doesn’t even make the top 10 video sites in the U.S., according to comScore data. (Hulu is No. 5). One of the ways Hulu became better known was by launching a national TV advertising campaign which kicked off during this year’s Super Bowl TV extravaganza. Hulu’s user numbers jumped after those ads — and Fancast hopes for a similar boost.Fancast has dubbed its debut TV campaign “See It For Yourself” and will feature a series of five spots with recaps of shows including CSI Miami, Glee, NCIS, How I Met Your Mother and Gilligan’s Island. Three TV spots will debut on CBS and also on targeted national cable networks. See the Fancast/CSI ad here: The campaign also features an online push and an outdoor drive with interactive bus shelters around the San Francisco area.In truth, beating Hulu might not be Comcast’s biggest prize. It’s more likely to have its eye on its On Demand Online /TV Everywhere initiatives, which aim to make popular cable shows available on demand to paying subscribers. Fancast will be one of Comcast’s key platforms for that new service when it fully rolls out so building awareness of the site now is important.(Photo: CSI Miami’s David Caruso/Reuters)

Grey’s, Wives on Hulu from today

Starting today Disney content will go live on Hulu, consumating a deal that was struck earlier this year to join the two-year venture with NBC Universal, News Corp and Providence Equity Partners.

The first few shows include popular fare from ABC such as Grey’s Anatomy,  Desperate Housewives and Ugly Betty. This means Hulu is going from strength to strength in locking down its leadership as the place for watching TV on the Web.

Part of the attraction of Hulu is that it is free for U.S. residents, since most of the content can be watched for free over the air in the U.S. But we wouldn’t be surprised if Hulu’s owners added a paid service as part of the TV Everywhere initiative players like Time Warner have been promoting. Such a ‘paid-for’ service would actually be free if the customer is already a paying cable/satellite TV subscriber.

TV Everywhere’s high priest Bewkes keeps preaching

One day soon you’ll be able to watch your TV everywhere: online, on-the-go, your phones, just about everywhere and Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes wants you to know about it and believe it.

Bewkes, perhaps relieved to talk about something other than how best to get rid of AOL , took the opportunity on Time Warner’s first quarter earnings call to share more of his vision for how he plans to free your favorite TV shows from the shackles of the cathode ray tube box (yes, some of us still own those).

The way Bewkes sees it if you’re already subscribing to a TV channel at home, you should be able to watch it for free on broadband from any provider, wherever and whenever you want.