Liberty Global Inc. will use Comcast Corp.-owned online video management specialist thePlatform Inc. to launch its TV Everywhere strategy in the 14 countries it serves, starting this fall with its cable TV subs in the Netherlands.
Similar to Comcast's approach with Xfinity TV Online, Liberty Global's service is expected to offer authenticated pay-TV subscribers access to a central video hub that will stream movies and TV shows initially to PCs, with plans to add IP-connected tablets and smartphones later.
In addition, Liberty Global's video portal will also provide viewers with a small number of live, linear channels (perhaps starting with a dozen) that can be streamed over-the-top, according to Marty Roberts, VP of sales and marketing at thePlatform.
Liberty President and CEO Mike Fries is expected to demonstrate the service, which uses thePlatform's mpx video management system, Thursday afternoon at the IBC show in Amsterdam.
thePlatform boasts Alcatel-Lucent as a key partner for international expansion, but the telecom technology giant wasn't involved in the Liberty deal.
Why this matters
TV Everywhere and multi-screen video are the hot topics at IBC, so perhaps it's only natural that one of Europe's dominant cable players is leading the way in the multi-screen services market.
For thePlatform, the Liberty Global deal means it has engaged with the world's two largest MSOs in terms of aggregate pay-TV customers -- Comcast has 22.5 million while Liberty has 17.6 million.
It also expands thePlatform's growing international presence, following earlier deployments with Telstra Corp. Ltd. in Australia and Sky Television in New Zealand. The majority of thePlatform's revenues come from North American customers, but its involvement with Liberty also exposes thePlatform to more potential programming partners. In fact, thePlatform expects to see a higher rate of growth coming from outside the U.S. during the next couple of years, according to Roberts.
For more about TV Everywhere and thePlatform's global moves and grooves, check out these stories.
â€” Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable