June 25, 2012
Manhattan is arguably the savviest media market in the world - but only 12 percent of Time Warner Cable customers there know they can access TV shows on the Web as part of the "TV Everywhere" initiative, a report has found.
Nationwide, just one-in-five pay TV customers are aware of "TV Everywhere," according to the report from Parks Associates.
The research firm has been tracking pay-TV's efforts to combat so-called over-the-top operators - like Netflix, Hulu Plus and YouTube - by offering Internet-based video programming to those who pay a monthly bill.
"If TV Everywhere services were originally designed to be a defense against over-the-top video services, this lack of awareness is a significant problem," Brett Sappington, a senior Parks analyst, told Home Media Magazine.
Awareness among Time Warner Cable customers ranked lowest in the Parks survey.
Cablevision and Comcast customers were most aware - although only 24 percent of their subscription base said they knew about the relatively new service.
"TV Everywhere" was dreamed up during a time when the industry felt like the house was on fire, around 2010, Craig Moffett, a Bernstein Research telecommunications analyst, told The Post.
"Content providers have dragged their feet and distributors have been hesitant to promote a product that only has half of the content it should have," Moffett added. "It's too soon to call it anything like a failure, but it's not too soon to call it a disappointment."
It's all about dollars and the perception of value. Cable subscriptions declined 2.7 percent in the first quarter, according to Bernstein data, as cash-strapped consumers look for less expensive TV viewing alternatives.
Meanwhile, telecom operators and satellite TV firms continue to grow.
The overall pay-TV universe edged up 0.2 percent, according to Bernstein.
Fears over loss of advertising, lack of measurement tools and disputes over programming deals have hindered the ability to transfer shows from one platform to another. Industry chiefs such as Time Warner boss Jeff Bewkes have complained the transition is moving too slowly. - Claire Atkinson, New York Post
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