CES Panel Says TV Everywhere Usage Still Hindered by Access

Thanks to the growth of alternative TV platforms like Netflix and Hulu Plus, pay-TV providers have been struggling to maintain subscribers. In fact, the 13 largest pay-TV providers—including companies like Time Warner, Comcast and DirecTV—lost about 150,000 video subscribers during the second quarter of the 2015 fiscal year, according to research from the Leichtman Research Group.

In an effort to take back subscribers, pay-TV providers are allowing their customers to access content via the Web, a concept also known as “TV Everywhere.” But many industry experts are saying that TV Everywhere has yet to rectify the problem pay-TV providers are so desperately trying to solve.

At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, an esteemed panel of industry experts— including DISH Network Director of Video Product Management Jimshade Chaudhari, Disney and ABC Chief Product Officer Albert Cheng, and Comcast Senior Director for TV Everywhere Content and Product Strategy Vito Forlenza—candidly discussed the current status of TV Everywhere, stating that there are several problems preventing it from gaining popularity—the most notable being ease of use.

Right now, there is no consumer-friendly system for authenticating subscribers. Users are required to use various usernames and passwords to gain online access to programs. “The key is removing the friction process,” said Dish’s Chaudhari. “Authentication is still a problem.”

At GLDS, we work closely with content providers and vendors to make sure they are well-positioned to take advantage of TV Everywhere. Our WinCAP content authorization platform, for example, allows for real-time authorization and provides one set of customer credentials that enables subscribers to manage both account access and parental controls for all supported TV Everywhere content platforms.