A lot of people watch TV online these days, but in most cases, they're doing so either through on demand subscription services like Hulu and Netflix, or straight from the network's websites and apps. Excluding online-exclusive content, the episodes they are streaming or have downloaded have already aired on TV. Viewers have to wait until they become available online to watch them on their computers and mobile devices. TNT and TBS are changing that by becoming the first network to stream on-air content live 24/7.
TNT and TBS made the announcement at their upfront in new York today, stating that they'll be the first national entertainment networks in the industry to stream on-air content live across multiple platforms 24/7, including through their websites and the newly created apps, Watch TNT and Watch TBS.
“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."
Summer programming will be underway when TNT and TBS start live-streaming, so fans should be able to start watching shows like Rizzoli & Isles, Falling Skies, The Hero, Sullivan & Son and Deon Cole's Black Box streaming at some point this summer. No specific launch date was announced.
Given the growing number of people looking to watch TV on their computers and mobile devices, this seems like the next logical step for television - especially for networks who want to expand their reach and make money off advertising through streaming content. I'll be interested to see how this factors into the ratings and whether it has a drastic affect on any show's ratings.
I'm assuming that a cable subscription would be required to access the content, but that information wasn't specified, so we'll have to wait and see how this works when TNT and TBS provide more details.