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Study: Nearly 20% of U.S. Broadband Homes Want TV Everywhere

22 Sep, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Despite a tepid rollout, new research indicates broadband homes in the United States and Western Europe are warming up to 24/7 access to TV programming

Nearly one in five broadband homes in the United States would be interested in adopting TV Everywhere — an adoption rate that reaches 30% among broadband homes in the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain, according to a new study.

Parks Associates' new study found among the countries surveyed, the United Kingdom has the highest level of interest in TV Everywhere with nearly 30% of broadband households interested in a service allowing them to view TV programming on multiple devices, including tablets, smartphones and connected CE devices.

TV Everywhere is an attempt by media, cable and telco companies to retain monthly subscribers from competing over-the-top providers such as Netflix, Hulu and Roku, among others.

“In the U.S., Netflix [streaming] is having a major impact on TV viewing trends, with 22% of all broadband households using this service, more than those who use Blockbuster retail stores,” said John Barrett, director of research with Parks Associates.

Roughly 15% to 30% of broadband households are willing to pay additional fees in order to obtain this service, according to the report. However, one-third of all broadband households would switch to a provider offering free TV Everywhere, and 10% to 20% would consolidate their mobile phone and Internet services with a provider, if necessary, to obtain TV Everywhere.

“You can charge additional fees for TV Everywhere as long as nobody else offers it for free,” Barrett said. “It’s a great example of the prisoner’s dilemma in economics. As soon as one player offers it for free, everybody will be forced to do so, or they will start bleeding subscribers.”

Indeed, when Fox recently erected a pay wall for its content, limiting initial online access to pay-TV service subscribers, there was a noticeable increase in the downloads of Fox shows on torrent sites, highlighting the difficulty of implementing pay models for multi-screen video.

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