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Will Rivals Tap Cable's TVE Specs?

5:00 PM -- As reported earlier this week, CableLabs has published its first set of TV Everywhere specifications, offering a common way for MSOs and programmers to authenticate and authorize video that's offered online, a move that will help the industry scale that effort as it tries to combat over-the-top threats and the budding video "cord-cutting" trend. (See CableLabs Issues TV Everywhere Specs .)

Since those specs are based largely on Web technologies, there's not much in there that would prevent non-cable entities, including telcos and satellite-TV companies, from enjoying the fruits of cable's labor in this area.

In fact, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has already shown it's capable of using technology born out of cable. It uses RF to deliver some of its video programming and was among the first to put Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF), a CableLabs spec for basic interactive applications, into action.

But those appear to be exceptions. Verizon, which is deploying its own bevy of TV Everywhere services, won't be leveraging the CableLabs Online Content Access (OLCA) interface specs. (See Verizon Goes iPad Crazy and Verizon Gets First Taste of 'HBO GO' Portal .)

"Verizon developed our own system internally for our FiOS TV Online service, which includes a growing online video offering from a variety of providers like TNT, CNN, HBO, Cinemax and EPIX. We currently have no plans to implement the CableLabs specs," a Verizon spokeswoman tells Light Reading Cable in an emailed response to questions.

Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) is also gathering steam on the TVE front, complementing its "SlingLoaded" boxes with a Web-based portal that offers tens of thousands of movies, TV shows, and clips, but declined to comment when asked if it intends to adopt the new specs. (See Dish: TV Everywhere Site Is Portal to Growth .)

We've asked several other cable rivals, including AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), the same questions and will keep you posted as we hear word.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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