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May 16, 2013

TBS, TNT Roll Out Live TV Everywhere Programming

By Tara Seals, TMCnet Contributor

Turner Broadcast System (TBS) and Turner Networking (TNT) are planning a big push into live TV for their multiplatform initiatives. The plan is to stream on–air content live across multiple platforms around the clock, including through the networks' websites and a pair of newly created Watch TNT and Watch TBS apps.

"Starting this summer, subscribers will be able to watch TBS and TNT live — anytime, anywhere, on multiple devices," said Steve Koonin, president of Turner Entertainment Networks. "Tablets and smartphones become television sets, bringing new opportunities for us and for advertisers."

Notably, sports are part of the package, even though digital distribution rights have been a tightly controlled affair in the past. The live streams will include all of TNT's coverage of the NBA, including the regular season, playoffs and All–Star Weekend; TBS's regular–season and playoff coverage of Major League Baseball; and both network's coverage of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.

The announcement was made during TNT and TBS's annual upfront presentation—the annual programming showcase that networks hold for prospective and existing advertisers.

TNT and TBS will begin their live streaming just as both networks are in the midst of the their summer programming, which for TNT includes returning series Rizzoli & Isles, Falling Skies, Major Crimes, Perception and Franklin & Bash, and newcomers King & Maxwell, The Hero, 72 Hours and Cold Justice. TBS's summer lineup includes the second season of the hit sitcom Sullivan & Son and two new series, Deon Cole's Black Box (News - Alert) and Deal with It.

The free Watch TNT and Watch TBS apps will be made available just prior to the live–streaming launch, while Turner also said that additional platforms will be added by the end of the year. Users can sign in using their cable or satellite account credentials.

Edited by Ashley Caputo
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