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2013 TV upfronts: Turner to offer online streams of TNT, TBS

May 15, 2013|By Joe Flint
  • Under Turner Broadcasting's plan, viewers will be able to watch TNT shows such as "Rizzoli & Isles" live online.
Under Turner Broadcasting's plan, viewers will be able to watch TNT… (TNT )

NEW YORK -- Time Warner's TNT and TBS are joining the parade of networks offering a live linear feed of their channels online for viewers on the go.

"Starting this summer, subscribers will be able to watch TBS and TNT live -- anytime, anywhere, on multiple devices," Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks, said at the Turner Broadcasting upfront presentation to advertisers.

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Earlier this week, Walt Disney Co.'s ABC also said it would roll out a live stream of its channel this summer, and News Corp.'s Fox is said to have similar plans in the works.

For broadcast and cable channels, the decision to push live streams of their channels represents a shift in thinking when it comes to offering content online. Previously, the emphasis has been on putting shows online for viewing in a video-on-demand-style format as opposed to an actual live feed.

One of the challenges for the networks will be getting Nielsen, the company that measures viewership, to step up its game when it comes to online ratings.

The streams will only be available to viewers who already have a subscription to a pay-TV provider.

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