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German cabler puts internet interactivity into its HD VoD viewing

As we wade through the financials of every pay TV operator in Europe, preparing our new Pay TV report for Europe, we find time and time again, one lin

By PETER WHITE

Published: 9 December, 2010

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As we wade through the financials of every pay TV operator in Europe, preparing our new Pay TV report for Europe, we find time and time again, one line references to Over The Top services which are either being trialed, prepared or investigated in some way or another, for a 2011 launch. At some point in 2011 we will likely launch a report covering this activity.

Funnily enough while we listen to US investor conference rhetoric about content companies nipping OTT in the bud, in Europe we are seeing pay TV operators and free to air broadcasters alike looking to augment their services by throwing out some form of net to grab viewers and to make sure they get their fair share if cord cutting, or more likely, cord augmentation (where people view video over the internet and it makes them More loyal, not less) takes place.

A little news item about Germany’s third-largest cable operator Kabel BW said this week says that it has joined the list by launching an interactive video library. It is not generally in the nature of German cable operators to get to market first in offering streaming online services over the internet, but this one is something of a novelty.

The connection is made using a new hybrid TV receiver which is connected to an internet line, but the content actually comes over the traditional cable line. The internet access itself currently has to be provided as a DOCSIS line by Kabel BW but there is no need for that long term. Only the interactivity is sent over the internet, the commands to pause, fast forward or viewing reminders, the actual film comes over the cable network and they are sold on a pay per view basis, mostly in HD.

It’s a variation on a theme, and it brings the potential for interactive advertising at a later date, but we have a feeling that genuine OTT services come the middle of 2011 will be awash across Europe, with multiple business models in evidence.

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