Comcast, NBC Have Learned Little, Still Cling Tightly To Broken 'TV Everywhere' Mindset

from the change-is-apparently-hard dept

For years the cable and broadcast industry has tried to pretend it’s keeping pace with the times via an initiative called “TV Everywhere.” TV Everywhere essentially lets cable subscribers watch a selection of limited content on limited devices — if you have a traditional cable connection. The idea is that if you’ve got TV Everywhere, there’s simply no need to wander off campus to enjoy streaming services from the likes of Netflix. But as we noted years ago, the idea was unlikely to accomplish much given it’s based on DRM’d, restrictive walled gardens and unskippable ads — precisely the sort of things that drive users to streaming alternatives and piracy in the first place.

Our skepticism appears warranted. A study from earlier this year indicated that 82% of consumers have no idea what TV Everywhere even is. While polite about it, the study concluded that this was because TV Everywhere as a concept just isn’t implemented very well, and inconsistently across carriers. The study also noted that just 4% even knew what their cable credentials are. Companies like Sling have seized on the TV Everywhere dysfunction, going so far as to launch entire ad campaigns mocking the concept for being overly restrictive and just kind of annoying.

In an amusing attempt to right the TV Everywhere ship, Comcast and NBC Universal appear poised to launch a new TV Everywhere brand awareness effort. This will include, reports indicate, promoting the service via ads running the tagline “watch TV without a TV”:

“The campaign, which carries the ?Watch TV without a TV? tagline and will be backed by digital and on-air promos across NBCU?s portfolio, will focus on how consumers can access content across those channels and brands on a variety of connected devices as part of their existing pay-TV The new TVE consumer campaign, NBCU said, will be ?laser focused on driving web traffic, mobile downloads, video views and increased engagement across NBCUniversal?s brands.”

Rather amusingly, this concept of “watching TV without a TV” only goes so far, given that while NBC is finally offering some live streams of its content on the company’s website as part of this new initiative, in good-old TV Everywhere fashion you still need a traditional cable subscription to access it. In twenty years the cable and broadcast industry’s attempts to fight consumers at every step of the way (skippable ads, walled gardens, a la carte) will be part of a hilarious master class in what not to do when fighting disruption. At the moment however, most of the cable and broadcast industry just believes it’s being incredibly clever and innovative.

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Companies: comcast, nbc universal

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Comments on “Comcast, NBC Have Learned Little, Still Cling Tightly To Broken 'TV Everywhere' Mindset”

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Daniel (profile) says:

Re: Roughly 24 hours after

I don’t quite understand what you mean. Most smart TVs have browsers built in? If you don’t have a smart TV then the Xbox One, PS4, Amazon Fire Stick (TV), Apple TV, Roku, etc. have browsers.

If anything, you can hook up a cheap computer with HDMI out to get a browser on your TV. There is even free software (XBMC) that will provide a media experience.

Cable is already dead with the younger generations. The ones that don’t see a point in paying $100/mo only to have commercials crammed down our throat. I refuse to pay for commercials… at least the obtrusive, excessive, and non-skippable kind. Youtube isn’t even that bad.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Roughly 24 hours after

“The bundle will be overall higher than anyone service.”

Not true. I am a cable TV subscriber precisely because it is less expensive in total to have internet + basic cable than to have internet alone. Where I live, Comcast is the only available broadband internet option. DSL can’t provide service to either of my homes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Roughly 24 hours after

False. The price of standalone internet service is NEVER more expensive than the price of an internet/cable or internet/cable/phone bundle with the same internet speeds. For example, suppose I pay $100/mo for the fastest internet connection I can buy in my area. I could opt to buy the internet/cable/phone package from my provider for, say, $150/mo. The INDIVIDUAL PIECES are cheaper in that bundle, but I’m still paying MORE MONEY. Given that I do not watch television and do not need or want a land-line phone, the packages have no added value for me. I’m just going to be paying more for what I already have, which makes no economic sense.

If you get value from cable or a land line, the bundles may be worth it to you. For me and for a sizable chunk of my generation, such bundles are literally laughable. The service providers are hilariously behind the times.

Anonymous Coward says:

???? ???? ⛄ ???? ❄ ????

Merry Christmas to Techdirt and all it’s fantastic community.

At this point I could care less about what the broadcasting conglomerate does. Shows scaled to the lowest common denominator so that even the moron gets it. A steady line of advertisement and commercials with a short show to add a little interest. Between product placement and the commercial, it’s no longer 20 minutes of commercials. Programming that occupies time in such a way that it’s time wasted. They don’t call viewers couch potatoes for no reason. Heaven help we should have new shows, instead a good portion of the year is taken up by reruns. If I’ve seen it, I don’t want to see it again.

I’ve never realized what peace there is without the constant bombardment of ads trying to grab your attention in a 30 second time span. Could it possibly get any more annoying?

One thing for sure, me having a spy tv in my house will require them paying me. That’s how little worth it is.

Pronounce (profile) says:

Good Ol' Days

Remember the good ol’ days of OTA, that weren’t good at all, because your roof mounted antenna couldn’t get a good signal? And after falling off the roof a couple of times you decided to join the community access television association that provided clear OTA TV from a centralized antenna via a cable network.?

What ever became of that association whose mission it was to fix the technological issues of radio signal and help the masses with their television reception?

It’s my understanding that that association was formed specifically to help its customers and wasn’t going to be about big corporate profits.

Anyone know what happened to that idea?

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