Multiscreen Authentication for the Small Operator


Obtaining rights to stream programming to multiple screens is one of the major issues that cable and IPTV operators face these days, as shown by the latest dust-up between DirecTV and Viacom. In this interview, filmed at the 2012 ACA Summit, NCTC president, Rich Fickle explains how his purchasing cooperative is working to include multiscreen video as part of their deals with content suppliers.

As part of those negotiations, it is important that NCTC can show that a given operator is able to associate a particular viewer with its cable system, ensuring that only authorized viewers are able to view a given program. That is, it must be easy for a viewer must be to log-in on his table or PC or smart phone and view programming on those devices, while, at the same time, the programmers can be assured that the viewer is a paying cable subscriber.

As Fickle explains, there wasn’t a good authentication solution for the smaller operator. Looking within, they found that one of their operator members, Massillon Cable, had solved the authentication issue. As recently announced, NCTC is promoting this ability to its members. He also mentions another, unnamed, entity that NCTC is working with to provide another authentication option.

Based on news releases this week, that entity appears to be Clearleap, which is integrated with Adobe Pass, and supports networks such as, NBCU, CNN, TBS, TNT, tru TV, and Cartoon Network, HBO GO and MAX GO. Using the Clearleap cloud infrastructure, the authentication process can occur with an operator or programmer branded experience. Serving as a middleware layer of sorts, the Clearleap solution acts as the go-between the Operator’s subscriber billing system and the Programmer’s web Application Programming Interfaces. The upshot of this sort of approach is that time-to-market, as Fickle alludes to in the above interview, is faster than if an operator tried a go-it-alone approach.

More details are sure to be available at this week’s Independent Show in Orlando.

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