Verizon announced that FiOS is joining the TV Everywhere initiative, through an upcoming trial. Under the trial, Verizon will offer content from “… Time Warner’s Turner networks, TNT and TBS, and will soon include content from other providers.” Trial participants will be able to watch the programs on their personal computers or laptops – at home or away – using any broadband connection. Using their Verizon Online user names and passwords, participating FiOS TV customers will be able to access the online programming at the networks’ Web sites.
TV Everywhere is an initiative spearheaded by Time Warner, and hopes to create a method for paying customers of subscription video services to access video content on any device. It’s an effort to stave off potential damage to the lucrative subscription video business model from free and reduced cost access to premium content online.
So far, Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and Verizon are on record with trials for the initiative. Some argue that TV Everywhere has gotten off to a rocky start, citing “a lack of standards and a legal debate” as hurdles to widespread adoption anytime soon. Indeed, TV Everywhere is no trivial undertaking, and if successful, will require a significant paradigm shift for traditional video service providers. Perhaps Verizon and other telcoTV providers may be better positioned to embrace this trend, given their lack of an institutional video legacy.
Verizon cites existing TV Everywhere type services as evidence that they offer an “… edge in delivering entertainment and information to customers across all of their screens.” They’ve already been providing access to online and mobile video content through services like Starz Play and V CAST. “The launch of our FiOS TV Online initiative is the next step in our commitment to bring customers the best of what they want, wherever they want it,” says Shawn Strickland, vice president of FiOS product management for Verizon. Stay tuned.