Cablevision to Deliver Live TV & VoD to iPad
Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) says it is developing IP video applications that will allow subscribers to view cable programming on broadband-connected devices, including Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPads and a range of smartphones. Customers will also be able to use IP devices to navigate digital video content on their TVs.
But unlike TV Everywhere Websites, such as those from Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and other MSOs, which allow subscribers access to to premium content from remote locations, COO Tom Rutledge says subscribers will only be able to get that subscription TV fare from their residences.
“When you look at an iPad, and you are in a Cablevision household, you’ll be able to get every service we provide -- VoD, broadcast television, all of our expanded basic services. Everything that is part of our cable television service will display on an IP device,” Rutledge said on today's second-quarter earnings call. (See Cablevision Reports Q2.)
Rutledge said Cablevision is also developing interactive program guides that will run on iPads, iPhones, Android phones, and PCs, which will allow customers to use those devices to navigate content on TVs in their home. “Those kinds of products are coming to the market in the very near future.”
Cablevision hasn't detailed when it will launch those apps or start to take advantage of those devices as a way to navigate the MSO's TV service.
Comcast and Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) have said they are developing similar products. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts revealed at The Cable Show in May that Comcast would launch an “Xfinity Remote” product later this year that will allow subscribers to use an iPad or iPhone as a TV remote control. (See To Xfinity... & Beyond!)
Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt told Light Reading Cable at the show the MSO and other operators are working with CableLabs and Apple to allow subscribers to use Apple devices as remote controls to navigate cable TV content. (See Cable Hearts Apple .)
Rutledge noted Cablevision’s strategy is different than TV Everywhere. He also contrasted it to the approach EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS) takes with its Slingbox and SlingPlayer Mobile software, which allows users to "place-shift" their linear and on-demand TV services to myriad mobile devices over the Internet.
“I think there are some questions about the rights structure around that business,” Rutledge said of the Sling products.
Cablevision has also reached the “testing and verification” phase with its developing "PC to TV Media Relay" service, which will enable subscriber access to Web video content from PCs on their TVs, Rutledge said. The MSO is scheduled to launch the product in the fourth quarter. (See Cablevision Shows Its Innovative Side and Cablevision to Deliver Net Content to Set-Tops).
“It is a technical test, and we find that it works,” Rutledge said in response to an analyst who asked for a progress report on the product testing.
Rutledge said the second phase of testing for Cablevision’s network-based Remote Storage-DVR (RS-DVR) is underway in New York City. He said Cablevision will begin rolling out the RS-DVR product, which will eventually replace physical DVRs, later this year. (See Cablevision RS-DVR Gets Limited Deployment.)
The pricing for the RS-DVR will be the same as that for its physical DVR set-top, which currently costs $9.95 monthly, according to Rutledge.
"It [RS-DVR] is a better product in that it is a whole home product -- it may even have more pricing power than the existing DVR. Our objective with the RS-DVR is to make it our DVR and make it indistinguishable as a product from our current DVR, and we’re not going to cannibalize our existing DVR revenue stream."
— Steve Donohue, Special to Light Reading Cable