& cplSiteName &

Cable Co-Op Boots Up TV Everywhere Project

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
10/24/2011
50%
50%

A cable organization best known for striking bulk deals for cable programming and technology for Tier 2/3 MSOs and telcos is branching out into the world of TV Everywhere.

The National Cable Television Cooperative Inc. (NCTC) , Light Reading Cable has learned, has launched a plan to create a centralized authentication platform for multi-screen services like HBO Go or those planned around the the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

An authentication system, in this sense, would ensure that customers that try to log into an MSO's TV Everywhere offering via a PC or an iPad are indeed cable TV subscribers and are authorized to view the particular piece of content they have requested.

Several large and mid-sized MSOs have created their own authentication systems for TV Everywhere or are working in tandem with a company like Synacor Inc. to build content portals and develop TV Everywhere interfaces with individual programmers. But that still leaves hundreds of cable operators out there that don't have the resources to build their own system or are not quite big enough to make it worthwhile for one vendor to take them on individually.

The NCTC hopes its aggregated approach will create economies of scale for its MSO members and for TV Everywhere vendors. Instead of forcing hundreds of individual operators to make requests to launch HBO Go, for example, there's an opportunity for the NCTC "to create a bridge, or a common platform" to authenticate their customers for HBO content to be delivered to PCs, tablets and other IP-connected devices, says NCTC VP of Technology Alan Tschirner.

From plan to action
NCTC's investigation into the TV Everywhere area began in July under the direction of new CEO Rich Fickle, and the idea has now reached the "action" phase, Tschirner adds. "We need to understand this [TV Everywhere] business, how we get this to our customers, and how much this going to cost us." (See NCTC Hires CEO.)

The project has yet to reach the RFI/RFP stage, but NCTC has retained Pepe Digital, a firm run by former Ascent Media Group LLC execs, to consult on the project. Internally, the NCTC is creating a TV Everywhere "matrix" that will be filled up with various vendors that make up the components of the TV Everywhere ecosystem, including Avail-TVN , Clearleap , NeuLion Inc. and EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), among others. An industry source familiar with the aims of the project believes companies such as Openet Telecom Ltd. and Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) could end up in the mix, too. (See 'Adobe Pass' Targets TV Everywhere.)

Tschirner says the NCTC is discussing ideas across the board -- with cable operator members, programmers and subscriber management/billing vendors -- to figure out how to help out the largest cross section of the co-op's membership of nearly 1,000 pay-TV operators.

The NCTC has yet to decide if it or a third party will operate the system that emerges from that work. However, the initial aim won't involve elements like content delivery, transcoding or metadata. "Our first pass at this is focused on the authentication/authorization toolset," Tschirner says.

And he says the NCTC is not out to compete with a company like Synacor, which has been successful in developing service portals and TV Everywhere interfaces for some mid- and small-sized cable operators, including Charter Communications Inc. and Grande Communications . (See Grande, Synacor Strike TV Everywhere Deal and Synacor Sizes Up ‘TV Everywhere’ .)

"We're talking about a division of what Synacor offers, but they're not interested in only doing the part we're looking to do," Tschirner says, noting that anything the NCTC comes up on the TV Everywhere front won't be compulsory, but an option for its membership. "Avail it to yourself, if it fits your model."

And it's still got work to do before it's ready to present an action plan to NCTC members. Depending on how its discussions with vendors and programmers progress, the NCTC hopes to announce something more concrete about its TV Everywhere initiative by the end of this year or by the organization's Winter Educational Conference in late February 2012.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
The 'gleaming city on a hill,' Steve Saunders calls it. But who is going to take us from today's NFV componentry to the grand future of a self-driving network? Here's a look at the vendors hoping to make it happen.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue – London
November 10, 2017, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Could 5G Have Found Its Glass Ceiling?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/20/2017
1 Million Pirate Set-Top Boxes Sold in the UK
Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation, 9/20/2017
Comcast Shuts Down OTT Again
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/19/2017
Why Amazon May Be Cable's Biggest Threat
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 9/22/2017
Photo Highlights: Operations Transformation Forum 2017
Ray Le Maistre, International Group Editor, 9/17/2017
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed