updated 11:40 am EDT, Thu August 27, 2009
TWC and VZ Trial Online TV
Time Warner Cable and Verizon today simultaneously said today that they will launch trials of Internet TV viewing for their subscribers. Part of the TV Everywhere effort, the plans both let existing cable TV (for Time Warner) or FiOS TV (for Verizon) customers watch shows on the web regardless of whether or not they're at home. As before, many of the shows will go online closer to their original air dates and will sometimes be shows that rarely reach sites and stores like Hulu or iTunes.
Verizon plans a low-profile rollout and plans to offer only two Time Warner-owned channels, TBS and TNT, on an unspecified scale. Time Warner itself will be more aggressive and plans to offer its own stations plus HBO, IFC, SyFy and several other well-known networks. Its trial will at first reach only 5,000 subscribers but should reach multiple areas over the next few months. Both plan to add more channels as they strike additional deals.
TV Everywhere has often been regarded as a defensive move by traditional TV providers hoping to satisfy the demand for online video while keeping customers attached to lucrative TV service packages. The rise of high-quality streaming or pay-per-download video has led some to cancel regular TV service in favor of Internet access. Critics have accused Time Warner and other providers of instituting low bandwidth caps in trials to either discourage the switch or else to make up for the lost revenues.