TV is going real-time. Yeah, I know that seems a little ironic, but think about it. TV has never really been distributed in real-time. Even live broadcasts are subject to the so-called
“seven second delay” (a.k.a. the profanity delay, because broadcast licensees are subject to hefty fines from the FCC if they let an F-bomb fly, or a wardrobe malfunction live, in
real-time). Even cable and satellite TV transmissions are subject to all sorts of latencies due to various gizmos, gadgets, set-tops, and servers, and the reality is that even when some cast member or
host utters “Live From New York, it’s Saturday night,” it’s not actually live.
That said, a couple of announcements this week by some big TV
networks promises to make TV more real-time, albeit not on television, but the Web -- both the online and mobile versions. Specifically, Turner Broadcasting’s TBS and TNT networks Tuesday
announced they would become the first national entertainment networks to live stream their programming 24/7. You know, in real-time.
"Starting this summer, subscribers
will be able to watch TBS and TNT live – anytime, anywhere, on multiple devices," Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, told advertisers, agency execs and journalists
attending Turner Entertainment’s upfront presentation Tuesday.. "Tablets and smartphones become television sets, bringing new opportunities for us and for advertisers."
Turner execs said their “on-air” television content would be streamed live through each network’s websites, as well as a pair of new Watch TNT and Watch TBS mobile apps.
Also on Tuesday, during an upfront presentation of their own, ABC execs announced plans to begin offering some new data to advertisers based on the consumption of their
network’s mobile app. Specifically, they announced a trial with Nielsen to see if they could use Nielsen’s Online Campaign Ratings system to measure the audiences of ads running in
ABC’s mobile app.
Calling it a “pilot program to measure tablet and smartphone video advertising in mobile apps,” ABC Sales President Geri Want said,
“We want to expand OCR -- Online Campaign Ratings -- to include all devices. Our goal is complete cross-screen measurement.” And she said it to a roomful of the biggest ad spenders, live,
in real-time, and with no seven-second delay.