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Cable Giants Explore Offering TV Online

2009.02.21

Comcast and Time Warner Cable are in talks with Viacom, NBC Universal and other TV-network owners to explore a solution to the threat of online video: putting cable shows online, but accessible only to cable subscribers. Such Web services are expected to lure new subscribers.

Top cable-television providers and TV networks are exploring a sweeping solution to the threat of online video: putting large numbers of cable shows online, but accessible only to cable subscribers.

Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. are discussing with owners of major cable-TV networks ways to give cable subscribers online access to much of the networks' programming, according to people familiar with the situation.

The discussions, according to these people, have been continuing in recent months and include network owners Viacom Inc., Time Warner Inc. and General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, among others. These companies own such prominent networks ...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123509028580728229.html

- Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc are talking with owners of major cable television networks about ways to give cable subscribers online access to much of the networks' programing, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the situation.

Discussions have taken place in recent months and include network owners such as General Electric Co's NBC Universal, Time Warner Inc and Viacom Inc, which own such networks as MTV, TNT and USA, the newspaper said on its website on Thursday, citing the people.

The operators hope the Web services, which could launch this year, will attract new subscribers despite popular free-to-watch Web sites such as hulu.com, by offering a large amount of previously unavailable video, the newspaper said.

Hulu.com is a joint venture of NBC Universal and News Corp.

According to the newspaper, NBC Universal said it is "intrigued" by the idea and participating in a test, Viacom's MTV Networks called the concept "a great testing ground," and a spokeswoman for Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting confirmed it had met with operators.

The newspaper also quoted Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts as saying in an interview: "Online video is our friend, not our enemy.

http://www.reuters.com/article/televisionNews/idUSTRE51J0U120090220

 

 

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