Entertainment analyst Tuna Amobi talks Disney, TV Everywhere
Over Most Of These Stations chatted with S&P Capital IQ analyst Tuna Amobi Wednesday about Disney’s results, and the company’s earnings call on Tuesday evening.
Regarding Chairman Bob Iger’s explanation for choosing Netflix as the company’s pay-TV partner starting in 2016, Amobi said he was “surprised” that one reason was the company’s user interface. “As we discussed before, I thought it was primarily about economics. So that was interesting.”
With so many years of practice in perfecting video-on-demand platforms, cable companies should be in a position to offer users a simple way to find and select the movies they want to see. This has proven very difficult, however.
To some it appeared that Disney’s decision reflected broader doubts about TV Everywhere, the industry initiative that seeks to make sure online viewers of television shows have some kind of pay-TV subscription. The logistics have been a nightmare, with questions about how many users can be authenticated with one account, what kinds of programming will be put behind a paywall to begin with, and much more.
“There was definitely a slowdown in TV Everywhere last year,” Amobi said. “But I do think the industry is committed to it, and as Iger said, ESPN is one of the most popular applications of it. HBO Go has obviously been successful in making it work.”
Iger pointed out that the Netflix deal was also feasible because it was about movies, rather than TV series.
“I would say that had this been about television shows, you would have seen Disney doing a cable deal,” Amobi said.
Related: Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes stands behind TV Everywhere on Wednesday earnings call.