Back in March, some cable companies announced plans for an offering called TV Everywhere, which was designed not to actually add value to your cable subscription plan, but to pressure
TV networks to stop putting their content online for free, and offer it, instead, via cable authentication. For users, it would mean the ability to watch their cable subscriptions online, but only after they authenticate themselves, which seemed like a big hassle. It may be an even bigger hassle. Apparently, in this effort to take on things like Hulu (and, to a lesser extent, YouTube) no one at the cable companies got the message that simplicity is what made those sites work
CBS Interactive president Quincy Smith this week proclaimed that there's no unified standard among cable companies for the project, and dozens of companies are all approaching back-end technology differently. There's also no real consensus between cable companies on how to proceed. One result? Users not having a central resource for video content.
Bowman suggested that projects like TV Everywhere may not yield a single site that will contain content from dozens of programmers. Instead, the authentication system the industry develops may be used to point pay-TV subscribers to several different sites to view their pay-TV content online.
Now that sounds like a winner.