DirecTV, TBS, TNT to put shows online

Aug 27, 2009 By DEBORAH YAO , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- DirecTV Group Inc. is in talks with the TBS and TNT cable networks to offer their shows online, according to two people familiar with the discussions.

If a deal is reached, DirecTV subscribers would be able to watch shows from those on the Internet, the people said on condition of anonymity because the talks still are ongoing. DirecTV, the nation's largest satellite , previously said it was considering such deals but did not specify the networks.

DirecTV joins a growing list of cable, satellite and phone companies that are offering consumers a "multiscreen" experience: the ability to watch shows on TV, computers and mobile devices like cell phones.

As online video grows in popularity, pay-TV operators and cable networks are under pressure to offer a service that consumers want while still protecting lucrative subscription fees that operators are paying to the networks. The two sides are expected to share in any advertising revenue generated from online videos.

On Thursday, Inc. said it has deals with at least 12 cable networks that would allow the cable operator to put their content on the Internet.

The 12 are: Time Warner Inc.'s TBS, TNT and HBO; CBS Corp.'s CBS network; Syfy from Co.'s NBC Universal; BBC America, Corp.'s AMC, WE tv, IFC, Sundance, Discovery Communications LLC's Discovery and the Smithsonian Channel, a joint venture between CBS's Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution.

Time Warner Cable will begin testing the service in 5,000 households nationally over the next few months. Subscribers will be able to access many shows on the cable networks' Web sites or on Time Warner Cable's sites.

Inc., which offers television through its ultra-high-speed FiOS service, also unveiled its own online video trial Thursday. It currently has deals with TNT and TBS, but expects to add other networks soon. The phone company started its trial last week with 500 households and plans to expand.

Verizon will allow up to nine people in a household to sign up, and five can watch shows at the same time, spokeswoman Heather Wilner said.

Wilner said that Verizon also plans eventually to bring cable content to mobile devices, noting that it already offers shows through Verizon Wireless' VCast.

She said Verizon began online access to movies from Liberty Media Corp.'s Starz movies; Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN360 and Disney Connection; YES Network and NFL Game Extra as early as 2005, some for a fee.

Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Inc., announced in June that they are collaborating on a set of protocols for online access to cable shows. Comcast, the nation's largest cable TV operator, has signed up 24 cable and broadcast networks to participate in its online video trial of 5,000 householders, including Time Warner Inc.'s HBO and Cinemax, as well as Starz and CBS.

The concept is dubbed "TV Everywhere" by New York-based Time Warner Inc. and branded "On Demand Online" by Philadelphia-based Comcast. DirecTV, based in El Segundo, Calif., did not disclose the name of its online video service.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Comcast online video trial grows to 23 networks

Jul 14, 2009

(AP) -- CBS Corp. and 17 cable networks said Tuesday they are joining an online video trial by Comcast Corp., a move that tacitly acknowledges advertising isn't enough to support shows streamed over the Internet.

Cable TV companies mull impact of online video

Apr 01, 2009

(AP) -- Cable TV operators have treaded gingerly with online video. The companies want to meet consumer demand for watching shows on the Internet. But they don't want cable TV to lose its place as the home's main entertainment ...

Comcast to sell advertising for Verizon FiOS TV

Jun 24, 2009

(AP) -- Setting aside their rivalry in the interests of business, Comcast Corp. said Wednesday it will sell advertising for Verizon Communications Inc.'s FiOS television service in 10 markets where they both compete.

Recommended for you

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

Dec 21, 2014

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

Dec 20, 2014

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Sony faces 4th ex-employee lawsuit over hack

Dec 20, 2014

A former director of technology for Sony Pictures Entertainment has sued the company over the data breach that resulted in the online posting of his private financial and personal information.

Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release

Dec 20, 2014

Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film.

2012 movie massacre hung over 'Interview' decision

Dec 19, 2014

When a group claiming credit for the hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment threated violence against theaters showing "The Interview" earlier this week, the fate of the movie's big-screen life was all but ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.