Jun 13, 2013

Cablevision, New Jersey Transit and the Rise of TV Everywhere



There's news today that Cablevision and New Jersey Transit have just signed a deal for Cablevision to introduce WiFi service onto all NJT trains. (By 2016, but hey, you can't have everything.)

Now as a daily NJT commuter, I was thrilled to read this on a personal level, but it's the potential impact on the TV industry that's really got my interest piqued.

What this offers is one of the first examples of a legitimate use case for regular out-of-home TV viewing. As I've noted in previous posts, outside of live sports, there just aren't that many places where you'd watch TV away from home. (It's not like you are going to go down to Starbucks to watch "Game of Thrones" on your iPad. And most people don't travel for work as much as the readers of this blog likely do.)

Countries where out of home viewing is popular tend to have public transportation systems with either WiFi or really good 4G. The US has neither. That's why the Cablevision/NJ Transit deal could really be the start of something. Most NJT riders have fairly lengthy rides (upwards of 30 minutes) and so plenty of time to sit and either watch live TV or an entire program that they'd recorded on their DVR.

A lot will depend on how much bandwidth you're getting, as anyone who's ever tried to fire up HBO Go in a hotel room can attest to, but assuming it's good quality and doesn't have multiple dead zones, we could be seeing the start of a whole new behavior pattern.

In New Jersey, anyway.


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