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Liberty Global looking to OTT TV to extend reach and depth

Liberty Global will increasingly offer OTT TV services to complement its distribution of content to DVB-C set-tops with IP devices and launch Horizon Go on multiple third-party devices to increase reach, according to Adrian Drury, group technology, strategy and insight director, Liberty Global.

Speaking at the OTT TV World Summit in London this morning, Drury said that Liberty Global wants to both extend its reach off its own network and to bring all of the different types of content service – OTT, SVOD, EST – together as part of its offering.

Liberty Global looks at SVOD players as “just like new channels” and providing access to them with integrated search, billing and seamless navigation “is our job”, said Drury. For a service provider such as Liberty Global, “being able to provide SVOD, TVOD, EST…and increasingly being able to do that off-net and to mobile subscribers is where we are going”, he said, in common with other TV operators.

Regarding Liberty’s technology choices as it expands its reach off-net, Drury said that Liberty “looks all the time at the middleware options in the market”. He said that while Liberty uses the RDK platform, which it had helped jointly develop with Comcast and Telstra, as the technology platform to provide services to its cable footprint, it “continuously look at all the middleware options in the market to make sure we are making the right choices.”

Drury said that Liberty’s aim with its technology platform was to be in a position to make six-weekly release cycles and has “taken control of its own technology stack” to deliver the flexibility it needs. He said that control of technology “enables us to increase quality, increase speed and deliver”.

Asked about plans to roll out network DVR as part of its technology roadmap, Drury said that Liberty had launched this is Switzerland and Belgium as well as the Netherlands and that “over time the market will move to an NDVR model” although different markets would move at different speeds. He said that western European markets would move first and the UK “would move at its own particular speed” because of issues including the relationship between Sky and the public service broadcasters.