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Sling Media: Operators Finally Open to Video on Other Devices

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While consumers are eager to get premium content on any device they wish, it's often been the multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and content owners holding things back. That's finally changing, however said a Sling Media executive in a panel discussion at the recent Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles.

"There's a desire to deliver the content that a customer sees on the TV on an iPad app or their device, on the one hand. On the other hand, you've got headwinds that say either the business models are not there or the content owners, maybe, are not onboard with how the operator wants to do it," said Michael Fisher, senior director of business development for Sling Media. "The content owner sees this new distribution platform and wants to maintain some of that control. So, there's a lot of headwind there. There's a lot of wrangling over who controls that customer, who controls that user experience."

While the operators and owners have naturally been protective over their walled garden business models, they're ready to open the gates.

"Moving operator content or content owner's content from a set-top box vis-à-vis devices, it's been 20, 30 years before an operator said, 'Sure, we'll allow other devices to play with our network, or we'll play on other devices.' That's taken a long, long time," Fisher noted. "I think once that corner has been turned, I think it opens up a lot of opportunities, but it's taken a long time."

For more, including the challenges of dealing with legacy cable and satellite boxes, and not upsetting the operators, watch the full video below.

Is There a Killer App for TV, Or Is TV the Killer App?

Some say the future of TV is the TV itself being relegated to just being "an app" that can run on any screen you own. Others believe the TV is king, and we'll see a deluge of apps on smart TVs and second screens to enhance or even create new experiences. We can already see service providers such as Comcast and Time Warner releasing apps on TVs, and on the flipside, YouTube has its own lean-back experience. This discussion addresses content, distribution, and consumer-facing challenges of TV in an app world.

Moderator: Jeremy Toeman, CEO, Dijit
Speaker: Mike Folgner, CEO, SnappyTV
Speaker: David Adams, VP, Corporate Development, Accedo
Speaker: Eric Elia, President, Cainkade
Speaker: Michael Fisher, Sr. Director, Business Development, Sling Media

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