TBS, TNT to stream online


TBS / Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.From their 2013 upfront presentation in NYC: TBS and TNT will soon stream on-air content live across multiple platforms 24/7, including through the networks’ websites and a pair of newly created Watch TNT and Watch TBS apps. To watch the streams, users will have to log in with their account info from their MVPD.

This, after the similar announcement of “Watch ABC,” a service that will allow pay TV viewers in New York and Philadelphia (the first markets) to have live access to their favorite shows on the network on PCs and mobile devices.

Live streaming completes the TV Everywhere initiative. “Starting this summer, subscribers will be able to watch TBS and TNT live – anytime, anywhere, on multiple devices,” Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, told the upfront audience. “Tablets and smartphones become television sets, bringing new opportunities for us and for advertisers.”

TNT and TBS will begin their live streaming just as both networks are in the midst of the their summer programming, which for TNT includes returning series Rizzoli & Isles, Falling Skies, Major Crimes, Perception, Franklin & Bash and newcomers King & Maxwell, The Hero, 72 Hours and Cold Justice. TBS’s summer lineup includes the second season of the hit sitcom Sullivan & Son and the new series Deon Cole’s Black Box, and Deal With It.

Also available through live streaming will be TNT’s coverage of the NBA, including the regular season, playoffs and All-Star Weekend; TBS’s regular-season and playoff coverage of Major League Baseball; and both network’s coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

The TNT and TBS live streams will be available through www.tntdrama.com and www.tbs.com, as well as through the networks’ newly created iPhone/iPad apps, with additional platforms added by the end of the year. The free Watch TNT and Watch TBS apps will be made available just prior to the live-streaming launch. To watch the live streams, viewers will be required to log in using their cable/satellite-provider account information.

Complete details about TNT and TBS’s live streaming plans, including the launch date, will be announced in the coming weeks.

RBR-TVBR observation: Comcast and the Outdoor Channel recently signed a TV Everywhere deal; as did Time Warner Cable with its TWC TV app for the Big Ten Network, the Pac-12 Network, TV Guide Network and BBC America and more. It’s finally happening and Nielsen will track the viewing for ratings and ad sales. Having viewers go through their MVPDs is a win-win, it avoids any lawsuits and keeps the relationship with cable networks and Pay TV providers in tact.