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HD+ to launch fee-based catch-up portal - 12-September-2012, 18:40

HD+ to launch fee-based catch-up portal

Jrn Krieger | 12-09-2012

HD+, the DTH platform provided by Astra satellite operator SES for the HD versions of German commercial broadcasters, wants to offer its viewers the possibility to watch full-length programmes they missed on television through a new fee-based catch-up portal on their TV set.

The first content partner of HD+ Replay is TV group RTL which will make its catch-up services RTL Now, VOX Now and Super RTL Now available on the new platform by the end of the year.

Following a free-of-charge test period, a technical access fee will be charged for HD+ Replay the amount of which will be announced in time for the Christmas sales period. For access, viewers need hybrid reception devices compliant with interactive multimedia standard HbbTV and connected to the internet.

In addition to the fee-based catch-up services, HD+ will offer RTL's multimedia services RTL digitaltext, VOX digitaltext, n-tv digitaltext, kochbar and Clipfish on its HbbTV portal at no charge.

The catch-up portals provides by the RTL channels have so far only been available through the internet on computers, smartphones and tablet-PCs. Through HD+ Replay, they will get onto conventional TV screens for the first time. However, the offering will not be free-of-charge on the new platform as HD+ will charge a fee for the catch-up services customised for the TV set.

With HD+ Replay, the SES subsidiary will expand the business model of HD+ from linear television to on-demand services: In standard-definition, the commercial TV channels part of the HD+ line-up are available free-of-charge on Astra (19.2 East) while an access fee is charged for the HD versions. This will then also be the case for the TV-optimised versions of the catch-up portals which are available free-of-charge on the internet, but only for an additional fee on the TV set. It remains to be seen whether viewers will accept this.

RTL group wants to make its catch-up portals available on TV screens in collaboration with further platform providers, for example in conjunction with Germany's largest cable operator Kabel Deutschland

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