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Today in Connected Consumer

At GigaOm’s paidContent 2012 conference in New York yesterday, News Corp. chief digital officer Jon Miller drew an important distinction between TV Everywhere, which he defined as cable or satellite operators’ efforts to offer subscribers online access to the content they already pay for, and authenticated online services, which he defined as the network’s own consumer facing online offerings for which consumers must prove they subscribe to some pay-TV service in order to gain access. Balancing the inherent tension between a network’s own direct-to-consumer business with its business-to-business relationship with cable operators, Miller said, is one of the key strategic challenges facing media companies today. Just how tense that tension can be was on display up in Boston this week, where the annual Cable Show is under way. Speaking at the closing general session yesterday, Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes urged operators to “let the consumer use the interface they want” to access content, whether online or off. In a separate interview, however, Glenn Britt, the CEO of Time Warner Cable, which is no longer affiliated with Time Warner, complained that operators’ own interfaces are being cluttered up with a lot of channels consumers don’t really want because the networks use their leverage to force operators to carry them. Sounds like a perfect balance.