Fetch TV Appifies Its Box To Take Premium VOD OTT

UK connected TV set-top box operator IP Vision, which has quietly sold its Fetch TV box for a few years now, is launching it as an app on rival connected TV makers’ screens.

The Fetch TV app has gone live on Panasonic Viera Connect TVs and will go on Samsung Smart TVs in Q1, offering a pay-per-view and subscription programming from up to 30 brands including NatGeo, Cartoon Network and movie studios.

“What’s changed in the last three years is that other connected TV services are coming to market more and more prominently,” IP Vision CEO Eddie Abrams told paidContent. “It makes sense to diversify our outlets for Fetch TV as a VOD service as widely as possible.

“Whilst it doesn’t give us the control we have on our own platform, we can do things like knowing exactly what screens our customers will have.

“There’s not a lot of premium pay-as-you-go content on connected TV. We’ve invested quite heavily to make this a good experience.”

Abrams will say only that there are “tens of thousands” of Fetch TV boxes, which also double as a PVR and home media streamer, in the market. As TV manufacturers themselves offer internet TVs, the opportunity for such dedicated boxes may be closing.

But Abrams says IP Vision is not abandoning Fetch TV as a box operation. He is planning a cheaper, more full-featured next-generation device “pretty soon now” that, as well as being retailed direct to consumers and through Tesco, will also be offered by a telco.

Abrams says the UK’s YouView consortium of broadcasters and telcos, will be too expensive when it is due for launch next spring.

“It’s shaping up to be quite an expensive product – more expensive than our own product.

“YouView has some interesting aspects but cost is not one of them.”