This story was written by Staci D. Kramer.
Discovery Communications (NSDQ: DISCA) is putting some full-length programs online but sticking to its guns when it comes to free broadband access. CEO David Zaslav has said repeatedly that Discovery’s networks will protect their subscription value with a clips-oriented strategy for free broadband access. The news that Discovery is network #24 in the small-scale Comcast On Demand technical trial that started in July doesn’t change that.
LIke the rest of the On Demand programming, popular shows like Mann Vs. Wild will be delivered only to Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) subscribers already paying for the shows on cable. Comcast is on board with Time Warner’s TV Everywhere idea to use authentication to allow multichannel video subs to pay once but gain access to that programming across platforms and outside of their own home.
By trialing with Comcast , Discovery and the other networks get to show they’re behind anything that helps keep or gain subscribers for their customers—and gauge whether it will be of any extra value to them when it comes to negotiations. From a statement by Bill Goodwyn, president, domestic distribution and enterprises for Discovery Communications: We are also committed to working with Comcast and across the industry to develop a consistent online model for consumers and a meaningful way to measure viewing across platforms.”
By Staci D. Kramer