RTVE, Mediaset and Telefonica to launch HbbTV
From David Del Valle in Madrid

In an unprecedented move, public broadcaster RTVE, Mediaset Spain, owner of commercial TV channels Tele 5 and Cuatro and operator of other DTT channels like Fiction Factory, La Siete, Boing and Divinity, and telco Telefonica have entered into an alliance to trial a joint HbbTV service.

The service will allow the viewer to have access to TV a la carte with many options. Broadcasters will include an internet web page on screen to enable viewers to enjoy the service by clicking on the link.

The trial is also open to other broadcasters. With this move the participants aim to encourage other broadcasters and electronic manufacturers to adopt HBBTV along the year for a commercial launch in 2012.

The CEO of Mediaset, Paolo Vasile, has explained that “this project aims to integrate the best of the Internet and the TV worlds.” Jaime Gaiteiro, general secretary of RTVE said that “this is like an adventure. We know where we want to reach and at the end of the year we will see where we are”. The agreement takes place zoom after Telecinco had announced that would offer its news programmes and prime time fiction series Piratas and Angel o Demonio, as well as Internet-orientated programmes like Becario@s, Novios y Residentes with HbbTV technology.

The company will be increasingly distributing HbbTV content through all its channels following the pilot test. The move comes at a time when the whole electronic industry and even the Government recently supported HbbTV as the standard for connected TV in line with France and Germany. It is also the result of a recent strategic alliance with Spanish telco Telefonica to launch a trial over Telefonica’s IPTV, VOD and Internet platforms and services, Movistar Imagenio, Movistar Videoclub and Terra TV, respectively.