Friday, June 14, 2013

Cable operators buff up guides for Internet age

Many cable TV companies also offer hundreds of live TV signals and on-demand programs over mobile devices using Internet technology. These apps — such as Time Warner Cable's TWC TV, Comcast's Xfinity, and Cablevision's Optimum — turn mobile devices connected to home networks into virtual TV sets on smaller screens. But customers have to be home to use these services, and many aren't aware of them.

Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates, says the lack of awareness could be caused by the failure of cable TV operators to advertise such services, known as TV Everywhere. After all, such services do not generate extra revenue, as they are part of a monthly subscription.

Sappington says the people who make use of TV Everywhere are also video lovers who already tend to be higher-spending, loyal customers anyway.

That's partly what makes improved program guides more important. One key strategy in preventing customers from dropping service is having a greater breadth of programming, an advantage that isn't apparent when guides are difficult to use, he says.

"Pay TV has been trying to compete on the premium end forever with more content and more first-run content," he says. "The problem is if you can't find it, you might as well not have it."

From the article, "Cable operators buff up guides for Internet age" by Ryan Nakashima.


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