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Summary:

Every American television operator is said to be working on some sort of online distribution service for fall release. The category has assumed the generic (and also Time Warner-specific) name “TV Everywhere.” A reader points us to what looks to be AT&T’s yet-to-debut, but already-live contender: […]

Every American television operator is said to be working on some sort of online distribution service for fall release. The category has assumed the generic (and also Time Warner-specific) name “TV Everywhere.” A reader points us to what looks to be AT&T’s yet-to-debut, but already-live contender: a new streaming TV and movie portal called “AT&T Entertainment” at http://entertainment.att.net/tv.

attentertainmentThe site has the now-expected clean, Hulu-like layout, with options to browse TV shows and movies by title, creator, and network/studio and a rotating slide show of top content anchoring the home page. AT&T doesn’t appear to host any videos on its own, but instead streams from Hulu, CBS, MTV, etc (which means everything is geo-restricted to the U.S.). There don’t seem to be any ads beyond the ones included from the content hosts.

threestarsA pre-posted FAQ informs:

AT&T Entertainment is an ATT.net property that offers a market-leading content experience featuring full episodes of TV shows, movies, clips, and more for FREE! In addition, AT&T U-verse subscribers can view their U-verse guide and manage their DVR recordings from within the AT&T Entertainment experience.

The site encourages users to register for or login with an ATT.net ID in order to see age-restricted content, create a queue, and share and rate videos (it looks like you can embed videos without logging in, but not access a simple link to share them in other ways while you’re not logged in– weird). There’s no mention of subscriber-only content offerings, though AT&T had earlier this year been reported to be “actively building” its own authentication system, which would presumably enable subscribers to login online to watch content they pay for on their TVs.

One funny blip that pretty much shows nobody has used this site yet: virtually every piece of content is rated three stars (see pic at left).

Update Thursday morning: Got an official comment from AT&T:

We have started a soft launch of a new site called AT&T Entertainment. This site will feature free online content available to any consumer. We’re finalizing a few final elements, and we’ll share more details on our official launch soon.

  1. Hi,

    Open ID for Television, anyone?

    Why will users go to this portal if it’s offering the same streams/content that a user can get directly from those sites?

    What happens to all that user-data with personalised histories/preferences if a user stops subscribing to U-Verse (but then what if they remain on the iPhone, etc.)?

    Liz, Can you please find out if AT&T is an explicit affiliate of Hulu (etc.) with revenue-share, or is it just doing a Veoh.

    Now, what AT&T should be doing is fully integrating U-Verse with the website and mobiles for both integrated content-access and Account-Management.

    Kind regards,

    Shakir Razak

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    1. @Shakir – Working on it.

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    2. Shakir,

      We’re building an open TV Identity at SetJam. Essentially, we allow you to add your favorite shows and movies to our site, and then we provide you with the best link for the show regardless of what site it’s on.

      The cool thing is that the queue you build on SetJam is totally portable and non-vendor specific. We’re already integrated with Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and about 50 other sites.

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      1. @Ryan – Let’s talk, I am currently researching this exact topic. liz at gigaom dot com.

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  2. [...] Edit Staff | Thursday, September 3, 2009 | 9:06 AM PT | 0 comments Sneak peek: AT&T’s TV Everywhere bid (NewTeeVee) Quick tip: Automator and Services in Snow Leopard (TheAppleBlog) Poll: Do you Bluetooth? [...]

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  3. [...] tuning up 'TV Everywhere'? NewTeeVee points to some visual evidence that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) appears to be following in the footsteps of [...]

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  4. [...] the same, this site isn’t for that. At least according to the note that AT&T sent to NewTeeVee, which makes it sound like the company is creating… another free Web TV [...]

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  5. [...] site isn’t for that. At least, it’s not for that according to the note AT&T sent to NewTeeVee, which makes it sound like the company is creating… another free Web TV portal: We have [...]

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  6. [...] first pointed to the site, which delivers content from multiple content providers, including other competing video portals [...]

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  7. [...] »  Looks like even AT&T wants in on the “TV Everywhere” biz, as it has launched a stealthy streaming video portal called “AT&T Entertainment.” [NewTeeVee] [...]

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  8. [...] premium content venture gets a lot of its content from Hulu. (The Hollywood Reporter) Liz broke the news of AT&T’s entertainment portal last [...]

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  9. Imagine the possibilities if AT&T could enhance the content distribution value chain to enable HD, high resolution video distributed–with variable costs aligned with incremental revenue–across multiple broadband network carriers. Quite soon, this possibility will be reality.

    “The Internet evolved”

    InterStream.com

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