Wednesday, August 13, 2014

M-Net exploring the start of a possible new subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, looking for executive to head up the new venture.

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M-Net is looking to possibly start its own, new subscription video-on-demand service.

MultiChoice's DStv satellite pay-TV platform has been running its DStv Catch Up video-on-demand (VOD) service as a free bolt-on service for DStv Premium subscribers as part of DStv on Demand, as well as the commercial, and highly successful, film rental DStv BoxOffice service which was launched in July 2011.

Now M-Net wants to explore the possible start a subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service and is looking to appoint someone to run the setting up and roll-out of this new business unit.

The head of SVOD will report directly to M-net's director of general entertainment in Randburg and will be tasked with creating and implementing M-Net's SVOD business strategy, and running and building it into a successful commercial unit.

With the absence of international players like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime in the South African television market and who are internet and broadband based, on demand TV content distributors, it now appears that M-Net is moving to try and fill the gap.

Unlike DStv Catch Up which is "free" as an additional service to DStv Premium subscribers, M-Net's video-on-demand service comes with the "subscription" moniker, meaning that it will be a paying service.

It's not yet clear if M-Net's possible SVOD will be PVR decoder based, internet based, or both - or whether M-Net's SVOD plans are a precursor for a service that the pay-TV broadcaster perhaps wants to launch and roll-out in conjunction with the launch of M-Net's digital terrestrial television (DTT) offering, whenever that happens.

M-Net will bring a collection of new M-Net TV channels to market when DTT finally launches commercially in South Africa and that will include a new set-top box (STB) for the possibly 5 to 8 new M-Net packaged TV channels.

The new M-Net STB which will replace the existing, old and completely outdated M-Net analogue decoder might very likely be a PVR-type decoder which could enable and make M-Net's SVOD service possible to M-Net's existing analogue (then digital terrestrial) subscribers.