...differing approaches illustrate a divide in the media industry over how best to put content on the Web while also keeping customers hooked to their TVs. In 2009, cable giant Comcast Corp.and Time Warner — parent of TNT, TBS, HBO and other popular channels — unveiled TV Everywhere, an initiative that was to be a blueprint for the pay-TV industry to develop a platform to let subscribers watch content on their computers, phones or tablets. The proposition was simple enough: Take all that is good about television — lots of channels at the click of a button — and transfer it online. The hope was that by offering subscribers more content online, people would be less likely to cut the cord to their cable or satellite TV service in favor of so-called over the top services such as Netflix, Hulu and Roku. TV Everywhere was also meant to discourage programmers from giving away their shows for free online. But in the three years since it was conceived, TV Everywhere has struggled to gain traction. "It's simply a mess," BTIG media analyst Rich Greenfield said. "A complete and utter failure." Andy Heller, vice chairman and TV Everywhere point person for Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting, believes "the real stumbling block has been deals." Some programmers and distributors, Heller said, are using TV Everywhere contract talks as an excuse to try to "change terms and conditions" of other contracts. Another problem is that neither the programmers nor the pay-TV providers can decide who should be the gatekeeper for content online. Some consumers have to register at multiple networks to watch content, while others can do one-stop shopping through their distributor. "We're trying to figure out, can you have a single access point?" said Mike Hopkins, president of distribution for Fox Networks. "It's technically complicated but not impossible."
Via Peter Rosenberg