Long-Distance Cable TV?

As cable operators continue to craft platforms for offering TV Everywhere, NimbleTV is beta testing technology designed to allow subscribers to access an entire cable package on any and all of their devices, including connected TV. The company is calling it n...

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Btr Feature Art Cable 1 15 13As cable operators continue to craft platforms for offering TV Everywhere, NimbleTV is beta testing technology designed to allow subscribers to access an entire cable package on any and all of their devices, including connected TV.

The company is calling it not only TV everywhere, but also TV from anywhere. Viewers will be able to subscribe to a package from a cable operator outside of their own region. "People might choose to go with a provider that they really want and not the provider they currently use," said Anand Subramanian, Nimble's CEO. "Other people who want (additional) content from other regions can subscribe to an additional package."

Nimble intends to provide the consumer with the ability to set up an account in a specific local market, with the ability to obtain service from other markets as well. A customer in Kansas, for example, would be able to sign up with a New York cable operator through Nimble and then access the programming using Nimble's software. The subscriber is a customer of both companies.

"Our intention is not to change the existing ecosystem," Subramanian said. "It is more about enhancing the existing user experience about watching TV. We are taking existing subscription paid television and making it better. We are not trying to change the distribution (model). We think that most of the cable operators would find us a source of a new subscriber base and (a way) to get additional revenue."

More than 80,000 people signed up to participate in Nimble's New York City beta test. Only 300 were chosen - all from that market. However, a survey of those 80,000 indicated that 34% were willing to pay for an additional subscription on top of the cable package they currently have.

In addition, Subramanian pointed out that there are 6.3 million expatriates living abroad who might have a hankering for NFL games or other sporting events from their hometown. "We are getting new subscribers into the ecosystem."

Although Subramanian wouldn't give an exact length of time for the beta test, he said that NimbleTV hopes to go live before the end of the first quarter. As for rollout, the company needs to have a presence in a city before customers can choose a cable operator from that location. Nimble plans to start with New York City and expand to other markets.

Customers will have to pay Nimble a fee in addition to what they pay the cable operator. Subramanian declined to comment on how much this will be.

Monta Monaco Hernon is a free-lance writer. She can be reached at mcmhern@yahoo.com.
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