Second-largest U.S. cable operator Time Warner Cable Inc and Verizon Communications Inc said on Thursday they have joined a trial with major media companies to offer television shows on the Web to paying subscribers.
Networks participating in Time Warner Cable's 'TV Everywhere' trial include General Electric Co's NBC Universal-owned Syfy channel, Time Warner Inc's TNT, HBO and TBS; Cablevision Systems Corp's AMC, IFC and Sundance Channel and BBC America.
Other companies involved in the trial are CBS Corp and Discovery Communications Inc.
Time Warner Cable's test involves making TV shows available on the Web to 5,000 homes of paying subscribers. The subscribers will be able to access the shows on the networks' own websites, as well as on Time Warner Cable's Web properties.
Verizon said it will launch a trial of its FiOS TV online with programing from Time Warner's Turner networks, TNT and TBS for no extra costs.
In July, Comcast Corp signed up CBS along with 17 more cable networks to participate in its trial to make more television shows available to subscribers on the Web.
TV Everywhere is led by Time Warner Inc's Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes along with Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Both the cable network owners and their partners are determined to stop the successful cable television business model from being undermined by programing made available free on the Web.
Free-to-air broadcast network shows are now widely available on the Web via sites such as Hulu, which is owned by News Corp, NBC Universal and Walt Disney Co.