Comcast will soon be testing its online “On Demand” service for its subscribers to watch their cable programming on their PC at any time. Starting with a test of 5,000 subscribers, Comcast will focus on perfecting its authentication technology to assure that only current cable subscribers will be able to access the service. Time Warner has agreed to license programming for TNT and TBS to Comcast for the trial.
While no one wants to pay for programming, the good news is that cable operators are ahead of the curve this time taking the initiative to move towards additional distribution channels. The other good news is that it’s paving an “official” way for TV and other programmers to “come out of the closet” for web initiatives.
A very significant message here for online exhibitors is that it also paves the way to create a subscription revenue generating business model for online consumption.
These efforts by cable operators are paving the way for competition. Once programmers create a model for online exhibition of their channels then anyone can become a cable operator.