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Plans for 'TV Everywhere' Bog Down in Tangled Pacts
By SAM SCHECHNER and SHALINI RAMACHANDRAN March 5, 2012
It was dubbed "TV Everywhere." But for many TV viewers, it has had trouble going anywhere.
Nearly three years after Time Warner Inc. and Comcast Corp. kicked off a drive to make cable programming available online for cable subscribers, the idea of TV Everywhere remains mired in technical holdups, slow deal-making and disputes over who will control TV customers in the future.
Now some media executives say the effort, aimed at insulating cable television against a rising tide of cheap online video alternatives, risks getting left behind-a concern that found voice last week at two different industry conferences.
While some cable programming is available online, much isn't, or is available only to subscribers of certain pay-TV providers. That is because TV Everywhere-which is a concept, not a specific service-requires a lot of deal-making.
Each cable operator, phone company and satellite-TV provider must negotiate separate agreements for online rights to every cable channel. So far, just a few companies have reached wide-ranging deals.