The Olympics may have been the biggest streaming sports splash thus far, but football season could stretch the field even more.
Eventually every single TV broadcast may likely be streamable to your mobile device or a second screen in your home. "We think that within two years (that is possible)," says Campbell Foster, director of product marketing for Adobe's video and ad solutions. "Certainly, the media companies and the operators see the opportunity here. It's just the matter of getting the consumers to adopt it."
Adobe Pass is an authentication method for TV Everywhere, the concept of being able to access pay TV content on computers, tablets, smartphones and other devices. More than 150 cable and satellite operators use the technology to verify customers' viewing of programming from networks and studios.
U.S. pay TV subscribers engaged in more than 88 million authenticated streams during the Games, according to Adobe, which worked with NBC to verify viewers. That's the biggest single event in TV Everywhere's short history, Foster said in an interview.
Overall, nearly 7 million pay TV subscriber homes viewed Olympics content. "From Olympics and March Madness we're seeing the hockey stick growth starting to happen right now," he says.
About 70% of the streams went to computers while 30% went to tablets and smartphones. Apple iOS devices dominated with 81% of streams vs. 19% for Android-based devices.
To watch online streams of pay TV content, typically, consumers log in to an app or browser using credentials from their pay TV provider. Some Cablevision and Comcast customers who get TV and Internet from those companies are authenticated automatically when they use a second screen at home.
Foster expects growth as consumers become more comfortable with devices and authentication becomes easier. "It's making the most of your pay TV service," he says. "If you pay for cable TV, you can access most of that content if not all of it, through your iPad or your Android device."