Most of the discussion swirling about making paid programming ubiquitous across platforms calls for no additional charges for the consumer. Pay for it once and you get it on TV, broadband or mobile. Most of the payoff for operators would come in lower churn, new subscribers and increased interest in broadband. But that doesn’t mean everything a cable subscriber gets online or on mobile would be free; that’s not the case now when subscribers order pay-per-view movies, for instance. Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts alluded to the possibilities during the opening session of The Cable Show in Washington D.C. when he mentioned the concept “as a great opportunity to find additional revenue, to grow the pot.” The best comparison to what Comcast might do with On Demand Online is what it already does with video on demand: standard content is included and subscribers of premium services Showtime, HBO, Starz and others, can access that content on demand, while some movies, events, etc., are offered as pay VOD. Expand the options to get to the content or find platform-centric parallels, and operators may be able to find that additional revenue.
At another session Wednesday afternoon, Time Warner Cable’s Peter Stern suggested a combo solution for raising revenue and alleviating cannibiliazation concerns that the TV Everywhere idea proposed by TWC’s former parent Time Warner (NYSE: TWX). Asked how TWC would handle subscribers with a second home in another operator’s territory who might use their remote broadband access to replace that subscription, Stern reminded the packed room that TWC is already moving toward billing based on how much broadband subscribers use over a base amount: “Assuming we