11-18-13 3:25 PM EST | Email Article

Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC) subscribers will soon be able to watch shows from the Discovery Channel or Animal Planet online, including on tablets or smartphones, thanks to a ground-breaking deal unveiled Monday.

The agreement with Time Warner Cable is the first time the channels' owner, Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), has agreed to make its shows broadly available for pay TV subscribers to stream online, four years after major TV companies began embracing the idea.

TV executives see online availability of pay TV programming, known in the industry as TV Everywhere, as a way of improving the value of pay television and reducing the incentive for consumers to disconnect in favor of cheaper online video options.

Discovery had been slow to make deals with distributors that included these rights previously because its executives had said they wanted to wait for better measurement of viewership on mobile devices, and ensure that they would be fairly compensated for any such deals they might make.

In October, Nielsen announced that it would augment its TV ratings data with tablet and smartphone viewing data beginning next fall. In a call with analysts later that month, Discovery Communications Chief Executive David Zaslav noted that measurement improvements were coming "pretty quickly" for tablets, leaving price as the main sticking point.

"Our position is that right now the cable operator only has the right to carry our channels through the TV set," Mr. Zaslav said. "And giving that playability to the consumer is a real benefit to the cable operator. And so for us, right now we are just at this little bit of an impasse on value."

That impasse was resolved by Time Warner Cable increasing the amount it paid Discovery to carry its channels, according to people familiar with the matter. Time Warner Cable struck the deal as part of a broader renewal of its distribution agreement with Discovery.

Discovery owns an array of channels focused mostly in nonfiction programming, including TLC, Science and Military Channel, as well as OWN, a joint venture with Oprah Winfrey.

Discovery previously did a trial TV Everywhere deal with Comcast, making Discovery Channel available on Comcast Corp.'s (CMCSA, CMCSK) Xfinity streaming platform. But the Time Warner Cable agreement represents Discovery's first deal across its full portfolio of channels. The streaming capabilities will go into effect next year across all platforms, according to a Discovery spokeswoman. It isn't yet known whether Discovery will roll out its own mobile apps or make its content available through Time Warner Cable's app.

Although all major network groups have now at least begun to sign TV Everywhere deals, the TV Everywhere landscape remains highly fragmented, as not every pay-TV distributor has deals with every network for streaming rights. Further complicating the picture, while some cable operators, like Comcast, have invested heavily in their online portals for piping cable programming to subscribers, others have lagged behind. Cable and media executives alike have bemoaned the ad hoc experience for consumers today, which exists as a sea of apps that require customers to remember cable usernames and passwords.

-Shalini Ramachandran contributed to this article.


Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 18, 2013 15:25 ET (20:25 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
Add a Comment

News   More...

Start Premium Trial Register For Free

P F Fund Financial Data (13,000+ funds)
P F Stock Financial Data (7,000+ stocks)
P F Stock and Fund Screeners (basic)
P F Investing Articles and Market Commentary
P F Articles Archive (>30 days)
P F Discuss (dozens of stock, fund, bond, and general bulletin boards)
P F Portfolio Manager (basic)
P F Morningstar Investment Classroom
P F Access Your Portfolio Anytime, Anywhere via Your Mobile Device
P   Morningstar Fund Analyst Reports (full research on 1,700 funds, ETFs, and CEFs)
P   Morningstar Stock Analyst Reports (full research on more than 1,100 stocks)
P   Portfolio Manager (advanced with 10 X-Ray analyses, including recommendations)
P   Portfolio Monitor (monthly and on-demand personalized portfolio statements)
P   Morningstar Proprietary Stock Information (stock star ratings, buy/sell prices, economic moat ratings, and more)
P   Morningstar 5-Star Stock and Fund Favorites & Red Flags eNewsletters
P   Premium Stock and Fund Screeners (advanced with nearly infinite ways to find the best securities for you)
P   Discounts on Morningstar newsletters, books, seminars, and more

Sign-up to Morningstar

Basic Access

Articles and Videos
Morningstar video reports, articles, data, and tools. Dig into our lineup of e-newsletters and investing classroom courses outlining sensible strategies for maximizing your investments.
Morningstar Discuss
Follow the buzz on individual stocks or fund families. Plus, read the latest posts from Morningstar members and analysts.
Portfolio Manager
Track your investments and watch lists with our Portfolio Manager. Customize your view with our comprehensive stock, fund, and ETF data.

Access these features and more when you sign up for Free Membership.
Join Morningstar today. It's Free.

Unlimited Access

Analyst Research
Gather in-depth, actionable insight on over 3,700 stock and mutual funds covered by Morningstar analysts. View our mutual fund Analyst Reports favored by professionals, savvy experienced investors, and new investors researching options for retirement savings, college plans, or other investment needs.
Portfolio X-Ray®
Ensure your portfolio is positioned exactly how you want with Morningstar's X-Ray Interpreter and Stock Intersection tools. A Barron's "Best of the Web" award winner for five years running, X-Ray Interpreter goes under the hood of your portfolio to provide a useful allocation, sector, and geographic analysis. And you can discover how much of a stock you really own, individually and through mutual funds, with Stock Intersection.
Investment Picks
Find new 5-star stocks (greatly undervalued companies) to consider daily. Our 5-star stock rating is a proven winner, consistently beating benchmarks like the S&P 500. Plus, browse our Fund Analyst Picks and Stewardship Grades to find shareholder-friendly mutual funds that are poised for outperformance.
Portfolio Monitor
Get a clear view of your investments with personalized reports about your portfolio. Receive monthly statements and generate reports on-demand to help you stay on track to meet your investment goals.

Access these features and more when you sign up for Premium Membership.
Start your free 14-day trial today online
Your subscription may be tax deductible. Please contact your tax advisor.

Content Partners
Morningstar - - Discovery, Time Warner Cable in Streaming Deal
Name |  Ticker |  Star Rating |  Market Cap |  Stock Type |  Sector |  Industry Star Rating |  Investment Style |  Total Assets |  Category |  Top Holdings |  Top Sectors |  Symbol |  Title Star Rating |  Category |  Total Assets |  Top Holdings |  Top Sectors |  Symbol |  Name Topic |  Sector |  Key Indicators |  User Interest |  Market Cap |  Industry Name |  Ticker |  Star Rating |  Market Cap |  Stock Type |  Sector |  Industry Star Rating |  Investment Style |  Total Assets |  Category |  Top Holdings |  Top Sectors |  Symbol / Ticker |  Title Star Rating |  Category |  Total Assets |  Symbol / Ticker |  Name Title |  Date |  Author |  Collection |  Popularity |  Interest Title |  Date |  Company |  Symbol |  Interest |  Popularity Title |  Date |  Company |  Symbol |  Interest |  Popularity Title |  Date |  Author |  Collection |  Interest |  Popularity

Previous: Discovery Talks on Taking Control of Eurosport Earlier Than Planned  |  Next: Discrimination is Alive and Well and Living in America