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TVRecaps: A Toronto Company in the Global Online TV Race

TVRecaps says that 200,000 Canadian households could cancel cable in 2012. According to media and communications research firm SNL Kagan, 4% cut the cord in 2011 and that number could be as high as 10% by 2015. 

It’s fairly likely that you’ve watched television online illegally in the past through a variety of free live streaming piracy sites like MegaVideo. That, of course, was before the infamous crackdown—where founder Kim Dotcom and others could face up to 50 years in jail. 

TVRecaps CEO Akshay Khanna says that his company’s mantra in light of illegal piracy is to make TV available legally in a global fashion.

TVRecaps has over 10,000 TV shows for your viewing pleasure. It aims to let users save favourite sources, earn rewards, discuss shows, and share content socially. They are also pushing out Web TV, which allows independent content producers to showcase their content on TVRecaps for free—something none of the other competitor sites have. TVRecaps also has a news section, forums, and is working on rolling out sports content.

What differentiates TVRecaps and other popular sites, such as Sidereel and Clicker, is that they are a video search engine that uses relationships with content producers and distributors like Hulu Plus, Quickflix, LoveFilm, XFinity, and Vudu.

Sidereel, bought out by Rovi in 2011, is in a wiki format, which lets anyone make a page for a professionally produced television series. This allowed it to harbour links such as MegaVideo’s in years past.

Clicker.com, rumored to have been acquired by CBS for approximately $80 million according to Mr. Khanna in 2011, hasn’t been the major media corporation’s main focus as they’ve been working on TV.com instead. TV.com is more of an entertainment portal with celebrity news and gossip rather than a video search engine like TVRecaps.

The whole debate about whether Sidreel should be held accountable for their users’ actions has also extended to the popular emerging social network Pinterest. On Pinterest, users have also been clearly breaking copyright laws but the social network also does not believe they should be held accountable for their users’ actions.

TVRecaps is involved with Ventures.io, a three month startup accelerator where they have made it to phase II thus far and are in evaluation for phase III.

They do however look like they have a bright future ahead of them in the world of online TV and should raise the attention of potential investors. You can learn more about the future of television on TVRecaps’ blog, which includes a slideshow from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

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