Time Warner Inc. pushing 'stacking rights' for cable VOD

In order to better enable pay-TV VOD viewing, Time Warner Inc. is pushing the outside program vendors who sell shows to platforms including Turner Networks channels TNT and TBS to allow for full-season "stacking" rights.

Stacking rights allow for full seasons of shows to be made available for on-demand viewing. It's something pay-TV operators and programmers are trying to enable to better compete in the era of Netflix binge watching. 

"You are starting to see momentum," Time Warner CFO Howard Averill said last week at a Citigroup media conference in Las Vegas. "We have to continue to move along that path to make sure we provide the consumer what they're looking for."

Averill said Time Warner's Warner Bros. studio recently sold a new show, Lucifer, to the Fox Network. Under terms of that deal, cable subscribers can view the entire first season on demand. It's the first time that Warner Bros. has granted full-season rights to a broadcast network, he added.

Cable operators including Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) have been particularly aggressive in seeking to obtain stacking rights, with VOD consumption rising and dynamic ad insertion (DAI) into that viewership generating levels of impressions and revenue.

Last week, cable industry consortium Canoe said that VOD DAI impressions nearly doubled to 11 billion in 2015.

Among media companies, meanwhile, Time Warner and its Turner Networks division have been among the most enthusiastic in terms of working with Comcast and other cable companies to enable VOD DAI. 

"Turner entered the VOD business with some trepidation," said Jennifer Mirgorod, executive VP of distribution for Turner Networks, in an interview with FierceCable last year. "We weren't sure how it would impact our linear ratings. But it's clear to us now that viewers like to watch things in a time-shifted fashion."

For more:
- read this Bloomberg story
- read this PC Magazine story

Related articles:
Canoe says VOD DAI impressions nearly doubled to 11B in 2015
Cable VOD ad impressions spiked another 40% in Q3, Canoe says
VOD viewing of broadcast prime up 22%, Rentrak says
Comcast: Networks have 'stacked' 550 series on Xfinity On Demand