MTV will have a hard time charging Brits for VOD

MTV UK has upgraded its MTV OD on-demand platform with catch-up TV shows transmitted in the last seven days – but it may be challenged to make a success of it.

The TV brand launched MTV OD in February 2011, charging £1 per day or £2 per week via SMS and PayPal for archive shows like JackassJersey Shore and The City.

It will not disclose user count to paidContent. Now it is adding new shows from the last week, 24 hours after transmission, and has upped the fees to £2 a day and £3 per week.

Charging for catch-up goes against what has become the industry grain. Equivalent catch-up services BBC iPlayer, ITV Player, 4oD and Demand Five make shows available for free in the same seven-day window, with advertising in the case of the commercial broadcasters.

“We operate primarily in a pay-for environment.Anything more than a promotional clip, I would expect that to be charged for,” MTV Networks International’s digital SVP Philip O’Ferrall told Digital Content Monetisation Europe 2011.

But, whilst MTV certainly does make direct money from licensing its channels to UK pay-TV operators BSkyB and Virgin Media, there is no such intermediary paying for its on-demand shows. They are not carried by BSkyB’s Sky Go online catch-up service.

That means MTV UK is trying to be an online paid platform operator, as well as the producer of its content.

This is quite different from in the U.S., where makes its TV show episodes available for free online.

Customers with TV PVRs who already subscribe to pay-TV can record these MTV shows to view in their living room.