Scrambling to protect their subscription revenue, TV providers Time Warner Cable and Verizon are planning to offer their paying customers shows on the Web. The old broadcast model could face a serious threat if cable shows became widely available on the Internet. The collective traditional media is already feeling the Web's presence, and it seems they are looking to nip it in the bud.
Dubbed TV Everywhere, Time Warner's trial of the online TV service will include shows from the NBC Universal-owned Syfy channel; Time Warner's TNT, HBO and TBS; Cablevision System's AMC, IFC and Sundance Channel; and BBC's BBC America. CBS and Discovery are also involved in the test. The trial of TV Everywhere is expected to be made available to 5,000 households. Verizon will roll out its flavor of the TV Everywhere trial, making TNT and TBS available online for FiOS customers.
Recognizing the threat at hand, other companies are also moving to safeguard the subscription model of old. DirecTV is reportedly working on a version of TV Everywhere. While their attempts may woo some, I have one question: Will the TV Everywhere online broadcasts be crammed full of ads?