Dish’s Eisen says TV Everywhere has no business model

There’s no clear path for extra revenue from TV Everywhere services, said a top executive of the Dish network at a conference in Los Angeles last week.

Bruce Eisen, Dish Network’s vice president of online content development and strategy, said “most of the networks aren’t jumping into this with two feet. For good reason — there’s no business model.”

Eisen made his comments at the “TV Everywhere & Anywhere: The Content Connection” event in Los Angeles. Dish, the No. 2 satellite TV operator, launched its own website last month with 150,000 videos, a mix of content free to anyone plus TV episodes and movies available only to paying customers.

“It’s a value-add for our customers,” Eisen said. “For us, it’s pretty much a competitive advantage.” Dish expects to keep enhancing the functionality of “TV Everywhere” services as a customer-retention tool.

When broadcast networks make shows available for free online the day after they air, they’re setting a damaging precedent, Eisen added. “That sets the expectation that the consumer doesn’t have to pay for the content.”

Chris Allen, Starcom USA’s vice president of director of video innovation, said no advertisers have approached him to talk about placing ads on TV Everywhere-style services. Still, he said, spending on online video advertising overall is increasing as marketers have started to add online video as part of their media-buying plans.

There is some question how much advertising consumers will tolerate with online video. Allen, in discussing the hope among some programmers of adding TV Everywhere views into Nielsen’s C3 ratings, said he didn’t think people would sit through “eight minutes of ads in 22 minutes of content.”

One hurdle for advertising on TV Everywhere is the complexity in aggregating viewing metrics across linear, video-on-demand, mobile and online, said Cathy Hetzel, president of Rentrak’s Advanced Media Information division. “To roll that up across operators ... we’re a ways away from tying all that information together,” she said.