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NCTA 2014: Tentpole Events Driving TV Everywhere, but More Work Is Needed

"Finding ways to drive awareness, make it easier for [consumers to use], and then eliminating the friction is the key to success," said Michael Angus, senior vp and general manager of video at Time Warner Cable.

Sochi Olympics Closing Ceremony - P 2014
Associated Press

There’s progress being made in the rollout of TV Everywhere, but for continued growth, attention needs to be placed on consumer education and making these services easier to use, particularly where authentication is concerned. That was the conclusion of a panel held Wednesday at the National Cable & Telecommunications conference in Los Angeles.

During the session, speakers pointed to strong TV Everywhere results surrounding recent coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics and March Madness tournament.

"Sochi [results] were beyond our expectations.... And we are at the point now where we have a full portfolio approach," said Ron Lamprecht, executive vp digital distribution at NBCUniversal, who reported that post-Olympics, a slate of live events is planned, including the FIFA World Cup. "We aim to complete TV Everywhere (services) for all of NBC Universal's brands (in the coming months)."

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Reporting that Turner counted 69 million video streams from March Madness, senior vp business development and multiplatform distribution at Turner Broadcasting Jeremy Legg added, "but March Madness is a big deal anyway. [TV Everywhere] is still lacking in other areas."

"Tentpole events bring customers in. [Then we need to] get them hooked and once they have those credentials, then they will use more,” said Michael Angus, senior vp and general manager of video at Time Warner Cable. “Finding ways to drive awareness, make it easier for [consumers to use], and then eliminating the friction is the key to success."

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The session was moderated by John Lansing, president and CEO of the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing, which is working on best practices and a consumer education strategy surrounding TV Everywhere. He reported that the organization’s goal for 2014 is to continue to raise awareness and usage. The group also aims to have 75 percent of member companies in the space adopt CTAM’s TV Everywhere recommendations by year's end.

Matthew Strauss, senior vp and general manger of video services at Comcast and co-chair of the CTAM TV Everywhere steering committee, reported that work is being done to find ways to make authentication easier. Also, there are already "best practices that can make that more seamless."

All of the panelists emphasized that getting TV Everyone right is highly important at their individual company. Asserted Tamara Franklin, executive vp digital at Scripps Networks Interactive: “It’s the future of the industry.”

E-mail: Carolyn.Giardina@THR.com

Twitter: @CGinLA