Broadcast TV Apps Are Not “TV Everywhere” – Industry Needs A New Definition

The term “TV Everywhere” is used every single day in the broadcast, cable and online video industries, yet it’s such a generic phrase that it really has no agreed upon meaning. Many seem to count broadcast apps as TV Everywhere when in fact, that’s not the reality. The orignal idea of TV Everywhere was that you would be able to get your full linear cable TV lineup wherever you went, on multiple devices. But for the most part, that’s not what’s happening.

Most cable operators allow you to get a limited amount of content, from some channels, on a few devices, mostly inside your home. That’s not “TV Everywhere” as the name would suggest. A few MSO’s are now allowing consumers to get live TV outside of their house, but this option is still very limited and some content owners are suing the cable operators for offering it. For the most part, broadcasters are creating apps that allow you to get a limited amount of their content in an on-demand fashion. And some apps are allowing consumers to get live content also on TV, but most of them are one-off events like the NCAA March Madness.

Creating one-off apps to allow consumers to view a live event is great, but that’s not TV Everywhere. I keep hearing industry people say that apps from TNT, CBS, FOX etc. are examples of “TV Everywhere” but those are from broadcasters, not cable operators and the inventory of content is limited. So how should “TV Everywhere” be RE-defined?