TV Everywhere: TV Programs On Digital Devices And No Extra Charge -- Maybe

TV networks haven't been all that pushy about telling viewers where they can watch TV shows online. Typically, there's some short messaging at the end of TV promos. Networks want to tell viewers they have more options -- but they are not ready to devote an all-out assault, especially some of this activity may still conflict with traditional deals made with cable operators, satellite distributors and others. 

Still, the lure of new video technology is tough to avoid; it's another dangling shiny object. Turner Broadcasting is making a shift in this messaging to so-called TV Everywhere commercials, saying yes, it's okay to watch TV shows on line -- as long as you are paying customers of Turner's longtime loyal distribution partners -- cable, satellite, and telco.

Turner Broadcasting is one of the few if only networks in Nielsen's new metric tests that merge traditional TV ratings with that of online program ratings. So for shows -- "The Closer," "Rizzoli & Isles" and "Leverage" -- that are seen on PCs, tablets or smartphones, Turner gets credit for viewership. The key for Nielsen is that the shows need to have the exact same commercial load on TV as they do on digital devices.



Turner is telling viewers about "TV Everywhere" through Conan O'Brien. Turner believes it is "unlocking" more value to its consumers by doing this. Cable operators like Comcast and Time Warner can be found delivering the same message.

In theory, this is a good move, because entertainment consumers can be suspicious -- especially when anything's for "free." You know, there was Hulu a (free video site), now there's Hulu Plus -- not so free at $7.99 a month. Hulu did a short advertising campaign a while back, including one notable commercial a few years featuring Alec Baldwin. But that's about it.

Will Turner and other TV Everywhere proponents turn the same trick? It's free right now. Later? Hmmm... maybe not. Right now, Turner wants to be ahead of other network in establishing friendly confines. Feel comfortable yet?

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