CBS thinks broadcasters could benefit from jumping on the authentification bandwagon.
David Poltrack, the Eye’s research guru, said Monday that networks might finally be able to find a legitimate second revenue stream by charging for access to streaming video of their programming.
Poltrack wants cable companies and broadband suppliers — not consumers — to pay, and he’d like networks to piggyback on the cable authentification process now being attempted by TimeWarner and other companies.
Poltrack, offering up one of his trademark research presentations to reporters at the TCA press tour, outlined why online video could soon be a more profitable business for networks than the ad revenue generated from progams watched by consumers on their digital video recorders. He also repeated previous predictions that DVRs were a transitional medium, a la the VCR.
Of course, wanting cable operators and others to pay for online video access is one thing. Convincing them to do so, particularly when broadcasters have had a hard time getting cablers to pay retransmission fees, is another thing.
"This is a theoretical exercise," Poltrack said.
Poltrack’s presentation also noted that the biggest growth in online video usage is coming not from the young folks, but among older viewers (who may have been slower to embrace the idea of watching TV on a computer.)
Adding to the growth of online delivery of TV programming: A new breed of Internet-ready TV sets that will be widely available by next year, Poltrack said.
Those sets will allow viewers to watch Internet video on their flat screens (relatively) easily.