Pouring old wine into new bottles, Turner Classic Movies is now letting classic-film buffs watch hundreds of venerable flicks on computers or mobile devices over any Internet connection.
The channel announced the launch of Watch TCM apps and website, which include live streaming of TCM’s East and West Coast feeds as well as 300-plus titles available on demand each month. The cabler said it will offer nearly every film on the TCM schedule on demand, including the introductions by TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz.
TCM, which Turner Broadcasting launched in 1994, is distributed to 83 million households. But not all pay TV affiliates are participating in Watch TCM — DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are the two biggest sitting out today. Operators with deals to offer the Watch TCM “TV Everywhere” service include Comcast, Dish Network, Cox, Charter, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-verse, Cablevision and Suddenlink.
WatchTCM’s current lineup of on-demand titles includes “From Here to Eternity,” “High Plains Drifter,” “Hunt the Man Down,” “The Killers,” “My Brilliant Career,” “Panic at Hanging Rock,” “Red River,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Too Many Husbands.”
The apps are available for devices running Apple iOS 4.3 and later and Android 2.2 and later. TCM execs said the channel developed the website and apps with input directly from classic movie fans, providing supplemental content including background information, clips and photos for the pics.
“The Watch TCM app and website will fundamentally change the way TCM fans are able to enjoy their favorite movies,” Dennis Adamovich, senior VP of digital, affiliate, lifestyle and enterprise commerce for TCM, TBS and TNT, said in a statement.
To view TCM’s live streams and on-demand movies, users must log in with their TV provider user-name and password. Other features of the Watch TCM service include a personalized watch list; two months of TV listings; clips and trailers; movie and actor alerts notifying users when their favorite thesps or movies are available; and a fan feed of comments on each film.