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Brightcove Makes "TV Everywhere" Play - Broadcasting & Cable

Brightcove Makes "TV Everywhere" Play

Develops turnkey system aimed at programmers
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Online
video specialist Brightcove, whose technology is already used by some 60 TV
programmers for their Websites, has developed a new system to help cable
programmers launch "TV Everywhere" on-demand video services, either through
their own portals or working in partnership with cable or telco operators.
Consistent with the "TV Everywhere" concept espoused by Time Warner and being
tested by Comcast in its "On Demand Online" trial, the Brightcove system
includes authentication technology to ensure that online viewers are already
paying for the content through their pay-TV subscriptions.

The
new "Brightcove TV Everywhere Solution Pack" combines the enterprise edition of
the Brightcove 4 video platform with a number of new features aimed at bringing
more licensed and subscriber-entitled video content online. Most important
is authentication technology from Internet identity security firm Ping
Identity, with which Brightcove has formed a strategic alliance. Brightcove
will integrate Ping Identity's PingFederate software into its "TV
Everywhere" system to give programmers an authentication and authorization
option built on existing open standards.

Users
visiting a programmer's Website would be prompted to enter a credential
provided by their pay-TV operator. That information would then be sent from the
operator to the Brightcove system, which would authenticate that the user could
see the requested content and allow the video to begin streaming.

"The
TV Everywhere initiative is exciting because it is defining how video
content, once locked to our televisions, will be securely accessible from
everywhere," said Andre Durand, Ping Identity chairman and CEO, in a
statement. "We are pleased to partner with Brightcove on a
solution that we believe will not only revolutionize the way that viewers
access television programming, but will also establish new standards for
securing access to that content through identity on the Internet."

Brightcove
is not the only company pursuing this market. The Platform, the Comcast subsidiary
that is Brighcove's biggest competitor in providing online video technology to
programmers, launched its own "TV Everywhere" system in November. The Platform
is also providing the back-end technology for the Comcast On Demand Online
trial.

While
the first big "TV Everywhere" trial in the U.S. is being driven by an
operator, Brightcove Chairman and CEO Jeremy Allaire expects that programmers
will follow suit by launching their own on-demand portals later this year. So
Brightcove has been working for the past few months on a TV Everywhere system
to meet that need. It has also promoted Brightcove veteran Eric Elia, a former
@ Home and Comcast executive, to VP of TV solutions, where he
will lead the team responsible for customizing and deploying the TV Everywhere
system to existing Brightcove customers. 

Allaire
predicts programmers will launch authenticated on-demand services through
several forms of distribution, and might have "10 different deals" with
multichannel operators to provide TV Everywhere services.

"The
deals being cut vary greatly from one MPVD [multi-program video distributor] to
the next," he says. "The use cases vary, and there are different branding
scenarios."

That
said, Allaire see three common models developing. In one, the operator doesn't
have a "TV Everywhere" portal itself, but still wants to ensure that
subscribers visiting a programmers' portal are already paying for the content
on their TV, through authentication. The second model is that an operator is
running a portal, but needs to get feeds of online content from programmers.
The operator would then package the content and put in its own user experience.
The third likely model is where the operator's portal is actually a series of
embedded video players from the various programmers themselves, which could run
off the Brightcove infrastructure.

"We
support all three scenarios, and can manage the metadata behind them," says
Allaire.

While
"connected TVs" that can accept broadband video were widely demonstrated at the
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, Allaire doesn't
expect that "TV Everywhere"-type content will make its way to those sets
anytime soon. There are some technical challenges, such as getting those sets
to support authentication, and also some business impediments as cable
operators are looking to use "TV Everywhere" as a way to stave off competition
from new "over-the-top" video services. But Allaire thinks eventually TV
Everywhere will make its way to connected TVs, too, but not until late 2011 or
2012.

"Right
now, they want to take advantage of it to build their online brand," says
Allaire of programmers and operators. "Once they've ironed out the business
policies, and they've got a consistent, standardized technical approach, then
you'll see the industry move onto the next phase of how to take it beyond the
PC. Right now, that is not a focus at all."

One
of the interesting wrinkles to providing "TV Everywhere" on a mass scale is who
winds up covering the bulk of the costs of delivering the video-the operator or
the programmer. In that vein, the Brightcove system will support real-time "CDN
switching," where depending on business arrangements and which Website a viewer
uses, the system could seamlessly switch from a content delivery network (CDN)
the operator is paying for to one being supplied by the programmer.

"That's really built into the deals, to reflect who carries
the costs," says Allaire.

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