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Telenet backs down with VOD plan
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Telenet backs down with VOD plan - 07-September-2009, 07:08

By Robert Briel
September 7, 2009 05.57 UK

Under pressure from broadcasters, Belgian cable operator Telenet has canceled a plan to offer on its VOD platform brand new episodes from US TV series within 48 hours after the shows appear on American television.

Within hours after the operator had announced the intention to launch the service on September 24, to be called Series hot from the US, broadcasters protested claiming such a service would hurt their business. Telenet wanted to offer series including Greys Anatomy, Lost and Desperate Housewives, which usually get shown much later on broadcast TV.

Because of the good relations Telenet enjoys with the broadcasters, the operator dropped the plans for the time being. The cabler already offers movies on-demand, while a number of broadcasters have their own branded on-demand services on the network with a variety of programming available, both free and for pay for subscription or on a transactional basis.

It is our take that a service as proposed by Telenet is the ideal answer to the growing problem of illegal downloads and file sharing on the internet. At the moment, every new episode of a major US series is viewed illegally hundreds of thousands of times, if not millions of times. Being a major broadband provider, Telenet knows exactly how much of the traffic over their network concerns such activities.

By offering brand new programming in a legal and easily accessible way, this can help battle piracy. Broadcasters who are dependent on third party programming will have get used to the fact that they have no exclusivity. Already with movies, there are a number of windows (DVD, VOD, pay TV) before they can show them. Of course the broadcasters themselves can also decide to run such a VOD service themselves.
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