The Future Of Television: TBS Taking Shows To The Web

May 29th, 2007 | By | Category: Internet TV, Streaming Video, Video

Turner Broadcasting System’s TNT and TBS plan to stream all of their original summer series to the Web the morning after they premiere on TV. They will be available on the networks’ Websites, and, the next day and remain online for about a month.

“We want new viewers to come in, and, while we certainly want them to watch shows when we air them live, we want them to watch during encores and on-demand when and where appropriate,” said Jeff Gregor, chief marketing officer for TBS/TNT/TCM.

Time Warner’s Turner networks are the first major entertainment cable networks to stream full series runs of new originals. The announcement highlights the growing importance of streaming video and podcasts for major networks. As advertisers are moving their money to the Internet, networks have to follow or lose revenue.

“Television is under severe pressure at the moment from the Internet. There has been a fundamental shift and the pace will quicken,” according to Sir Martin Sorrell, head of WPP, the world‚Äôs second-biggest advertising company. “Television advertising is not going to disappear. It still has pulling power, but the balance will switch.‚Äù
Turner negotiated streaming rights for its new series at the time the network greenlighted them to series. The company has gone back to studios to negotiate rights for returning shows.

“From the studio side, it‚Äôs becoming part of the package of rights you’re willing and able to buy,” says Turner Entertainment Networks President Steve Koonin. “We take the streaming piece very seriously, and when we‚Äôre looking to greenlight series, this is something we push with the studios.”

In addition to increased revenue opportunities, offering free video on demand promises to build audiences for shows. The Disney Channel, for example, premiered an episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody online prior to its TV debut. That episode became the most-viewed in an entire block when it premiered on TV.

via Broadcasting & Cable

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