UPC to concentrate on HD and VOD

By Robert Briel
December 22, 2009 08.50 UK

UPC Nederland will concentrate on HDTV and VOD to build its digital television offer. The operator expects to launch a large number of new VOD ‘channels’ during 2010. UPC will deliver over 5 million streams requests during a month for the first time this December.

Having just launched 13th Street and Sc-Fi on demand, UPC hopes to add Disney Channel, Discovery Channel, Fox Life, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon to its ‘channel on demand’ offer. The first HD on demand is also on the table.

Uitzending Gemist, the VOD service from the public broadcasters, has been available from the start of the service and RTL was added in October. No details have been released as to when programming from the third largest broadcaster, SBS, will be added.

UPC is very pleased with the usage of its VOD services. At the moment more than 50% of all digital subscribers request at least one stream per month. This month will also see a record usage reaching the 5 million requested streams for the first time. This includes free-VOD, S-VOD and transactional VOD requests.

With regard to HD, UPC will add RTL4 HD and RTL5 HD during the new year. Also on the cards is the addition of BBC HD (national version) and the three channels from SBS Broadcasting, SBS6, Net 5 and Veronica. Negotiations are currently under way about the conditions of the SBS Group’s HD channels.

UPC also expects to decide whether to introduce CI plus during 2010. One of the concerns is the issue of the VOD services can be handled by CI plus receivers. The operator also awaits the first experiences with CI plus on its Cablecom network in Switzerland.