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Time Warner, Comcast strengthen TV Everywhere ties

Tue, 02/01/2011 - 7:50am
Mike Robuck

Time Warner and Comcast announced this morning that they've inked a long-term agreement that will provide more access to Time Warner's programming online, on-demand and, eventually, via live streaming.

The two companies said the live streaming option would be available later this year. Comcast has been working its way toward live streaming over the Internet to its authenticated subscribers for some time now. Last month, Comcast said it was close to having live streaming enabled on iPad and Android-based devices, and today's announcement with Time Warner represented the validation of the content that will be available from an already established TV Everywhere partner.

Today's agreement covers movies and shows from Turner Broadcasting System networks, including TNT, TBS, CNN, HLN, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim.

"This multi-year agreement with Time Warner is a significant next step in our vision to deliver more content to our customers on any device, at anytime and anywhere," said Brian Roberts, chairman and CEO of Comcast. "Jeff [Bewkes] has been a real leader in increasing the amount of content available to consumers, and we are thrilled to be able to deliver hundreds of hours of Turner shows and movies to our customers across multiple devices."

The content is slated to be available shortly after initial airing at no additional cost to Comcast's customers on its Xfinity Web portal, video-on-demand service, applicable Turner websites, and Xfinity- and Turner-branded iPad, iPhone and Android-based tablet and phone applications.

Some of the shows that will be available via the new agreement include "The Closer," "Men of a Certain Age," "Southland," "Conan," "Lopez Tonight," "The Venture Brothers," "Ben 10: Ultimate Alien," "Speeders," "Glory Daze," "House of Payne," "Meet The Browns" and "Piers Morgan Tonight."

Comcast and Time Warner were among the first to partner up on TV Everywhere services back in 2009, but today's multi-year deal – financial terms weren't available – strengthened their relationship.

"When we first announced the TV Everywhere initiative with Comcast and Brian Roberts 18 months ago, it was an untested idea facing technical doubts and competitive pressures – but already, more than 50 million consumers can experience some form of it from a wide range of content providers and distributors," said Jeffrey Bewkes, chairman and CEO of Time Warner Inc. "This landmark agreement between Turner and Comcast, along with our separate recent deal between Comcast and HBO, really solidifies our partnership in this effort and really pushes forward the concept of giving consumers more access to quality on-demand content on any device they choose."

The Turner content on Xfinity platforms is expected to accrue to Nielsen C3 ratings across TV and the Internet starting in mid-2011, and eventually to phone and tablet devices.

By offering additional content to its authenticated subscribers, Comcast has been proactive in trying to keep its customers from wandering off to over-the-top providers such as Netflix.

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