French digital-terrestrial transmission services provider TDF has taken a minority stake in OTT TV operator Molotov as part of a wider strategic partnership between the pair to create a hybrid TV offering combining Molotov’s OTT delivery with DTT.
TDF said it sees Molotov’s platform as a way to provide a more comprehensive TV experience to digital-terrestrial viewers, including on-demand catch-up TV and restart TV functionality as well as access to further pay TV offers via Molotov’s OTT platform. It also provides a way to deliver content to multiple screens and to enable TV viewers to discovery new content by integrating the DTT offering with the Molotov application.
Molotov users with internet-connected TVs will for their part be able to view live HD DTT and – in the future – UHD TV services without suffering transmission issues.
TDF’s investment in Molotov follows a €4 million investment by pay TV operator Sky in September as part of a wider €22 million funding round.
Olivier Huart, TDF CEO, said: “By taking an equity stake in Molotov, we are teaming up with a French start-up and in so doing, will enhance TV viewing, especially for the 15 million French homes equipped with DTT. Combining Molotov with access to our top quality free DTT package will pave the way for the most attractive offers and the most comprehensive TV viewing experience for the general public throughout France.”
Pierre Lescure, chairman of the board and co-founder of Molotov, said: “Molotov strives to revolutionise TV viewing by providing top quality and often inaccessible content via a modern interface that we are currently developing. Backed by our deal with TDF to develop a hybrid version of Molotov, we will harness the power and strength of the DTT Network to further enhance the customer experience.”
Molotov’s service went live across France in July with a freemium offering, providing 33 channels, including 25 DTT services and 10-hours of free ‘bookmarked’ content.
The paid-for option is available in two versions – a €3.99 option with 100 hours of additional bookmarks, letting users record shows and watch them back across devices, and a €9.99 per-month version that includes 70 HD channels, four simultaneous streams and 100 hours of bookmarks.
The services is currently available on smartphone, tablet, Apple TV, connected TVs and on PC or Mac.
Molotov is the brainchild of former Canal+ boss Lescure, AlloCiné founder Jean-David Blanc and former TF1 exec Jean-Marc Denoual.