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Adobe launches Primetime to stream TV content

Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Adobe Systems Inc. has launched Primetime, a tool for cable companies and broadcasters to distribute TV content on computers, smartphones and other gadgets as part of a "TV Everywhere" strategy.

Called Project Primetime in a previous test phase, the service lets programmers and pay-TV companies stream video to Internet-connected devices, show advertisements and measure how effective they are.

The move, announced Wednesday, comes as a growing number of people are eliminating cable, satellite and even broadcast television from their lives. Nielsen Co. recently found that there are 5 million of these "Zero TV" households in the U.S., up from 2 million in 2007.

TV Everywhere seeks to offset the trend. While customers still must pay to watch television programs on tablets or smartphones, the aim is to it more appealing and accessible.

"There has been this fundamental shift in how content is going to be consumed," said Jeremy Helfand, vice president of video monetization at Adobe. "TV is no longer the device, it's content."

Adobe is launching Primetime with Comcast Corp. and its NBC Sports subsidiary as its initial customers. Last summer NBC used mobile apps created by Adobe to deliver the Olympics on iPads, iPhones and certain Android devices, in a precursor to Primetime.

"Adobe offers the right technologies to help us streamline TV services and bring them anywhere our customers want to watch their favorite content," Comcast senior vice president and chief software architect Sree Kotay said in a statement.

Shares of San Jose, Calif.-based Adobe rose 53 cents to close at $44.70. Earlier the stock hit a 52-week high of $45.40.