A Marriage of Convenience, Convergently: TV Everywhere & Networked DVRs

by , Oct 13, 2009, 4:15 PM
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In the mid seventies, while watching a pony-tailed Sean Connery (Zed) be transported by an enormous flying open-mouthed, head-shaped spaceship in John Boorman's Zardoz - a film about a 23rd century society that is split into two castes (the overly civilized Eternals and the barely civilized Brutals) and Zed's quest to question the authenticity of the god Zardoz (a stoned edifice), it occurred to me that "nowhere" is now here.

 

Where is TV everywhere. Isn't it. Does one arrive through a content owner gateway or via a distribution platform's portal or gain access through a third party. At present, a heady concept meant to take off sometime in the fourth quarter. 

The dynamic of the cult-followed Zardoz was the perpetual control jockeying by both castes (Eternals and Brutals): The Programmers envisioning a concept that will broaden their viewing reach (content and commercials) by exposure in as many locations as possible, while preserving their existing carriage fees; and the Pay TV Operators providing a valuable addition to their arsenal, while preserving their existing subscription fees.

A commercial announcement:

Why not throw Networked DVRs (remote storage of TV programming at the operators head end rather than at the subscribers household) into the negotiating mix. The Programmers don't like it; Pay TV operators are enthused; and the Courts are behind it: The Programmers envision a technology that will diminish the value of their commercial inventory and after TV market residuals; Pay TV Operators provide a valuable addition to their arsenal to maintain and/or augment their existing subscription fees. An opportunity to kill two potentially high-flying concepts while one is getting euphorically stoned.

In the immediate future both parties will have to figure out how to accommodate the other's TV Everywhere interpretation (revenue splits, authentication, user experience) or burst asunder upon take off without garnering reward for either cast.

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