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NBC offers iPad users immediate access to programming

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 13 Sep 2011 13:43

NBC offers iPad users immediate access to programming As rival broadcast networks Fox and ABC continue to fight online viewing in order to prop up relationships with their traditional partners, NBC appears to be moving in the opposite direct. Late last week they updated their iPad app to offer live access to their programs as they air.
Vivi Zigler, President, NBCUniversal Digital Entertainment said:

We are thrilled to offer our fans full episodes via our NBC.com app. Now the app truly reflects the deep fan experience that we have created online at NBC.com. And our fans are going to love the latest update to the NBC Live app which now offers them more content, better access and a unique social television experience.


This seems like a welcome admission by NBC that viewers aren't just requesting equal access online. They are demanding it.

No doubt it is related to the acquisition of NBC's corporate parent, NBCUniversal, by Comcast early this year. Such forward thinking seems unusual for either a broadcast network or a US cable TV provider, but perhaps it's not as odd as it seems.

On one hand, it addresses concerns about potential unfair competitive advantages for Comcast by making their content available through competing Internet providers.

At the same time, it serves to differentiate cable TV from satellite services like DirecTV. It makes Comcast's broadband offering more useful, making bundling Internet and TV services more attractive.

Over time, cord cutting is likely to move the balance of value further away from TV and toward Internet service. That could make it harder for DirecTV to get good deals for bundles sold through telco partners trying to compete with cable.

Hopefully this is more than a short term experiment for NBC. The future of Internet content is far from settled.

Experimentation is the key to building the future, not the usual ?try it once and drop it if it doesn't work? approach broadcasters seem to favor.

It would be ironic if the combined efforts of a pay TV provider and broadcaster ended up leading the way to the future of Internet content.

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