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Nimble TV Bows ‘TV Everywhere’ Service

23 Apr, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

A new cloud-based television platform launched April 23, providing access to pay-TV cable and satellite providers on any connected device without the need of a set-top box or digital video recorder.

Called Nimble TV (www.nimbletv.com), the TV Everywhere software service acts as an intermediary to traditional multichannel video program distributors by allowing users to sign up for bundled service accessed through a high-speed broadband connection.

Customers make payments directly to their providers with NimbleTV acting as a payment service (for an additional fee). In addition to local coverage, Nimble includes all cable channels, depending on which package a customer selects. Users also can record up to 10,000 hours of programming via the cloud, in addition to undefined social networking functionality.

“Customers should be able to access the TV they pay for wherever they happen to be,” CEO Anand Subramanian said in a statement.

Currently in beta testing, Nimble TV bowed with two dozen channels, with additional channels and complete pricing to be determined.

Since its vaunted launch in 2010 by Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, the TV Everywhere concept enabling authenticated pay-TV subscribers access to programming on any connected device (tablet, smartphone and PC) has been slow out of the gate.

Much of the holdup has revolved around content holders and media companies negotiating TV Everywhere deals with program distributors by piecemeal. Programmers, of course, want a premium for enabling additional functionality, among other issues, said Richard Greenfield, analyst with BTIG Research in New York.

Nimble TV doesn’t solve the incremental revenue issues, and, in fact, it makes TV Everywhere rights less valuable due to ubiquitous access. It also changes the leverage between programmers and distributors, in additional to upping access of regional and local programming on a national and global basis. And Nimble TV does not offer video-on-demand content but plans to in the future.

Regardless, Greenfield said Nimble TV would appear to circumvent the laborious rollout of TV Everywhere by allowing users access to programming, regardless of location and without the need of a set-top box.

“NimbleTV should lead to more television viewing hours in total,” Greenfield wrote in a post. “Even if IP-based viewing of television is not captured today by Nielsen (ratings), with full [multichannel video program distributor] service available anywhere you go, the end result should be that U.S. households end up watching even more TV than they currently do. This would be a long-term positive for both networks (broadcast and cable), as well as for the brands/advertisers on those networks.”

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