Joseph O'Halloran ©RapidTVNews | 14-09-2011

Group Prisa’s Spanish audio-visual entertainment division Digital + is set to embark on a major transformation which will transform the company into a broader proposition than just a satellite TV provider.

The company is to rebrand and undergo a change of focus in order to be to be more of a digital entertainment platform as opposed to just a traditional DTH platform. It will add pure-play digital services under a strategy where multi-device is top of effort.

Explaining the reasons for embarking on the journey that it had to take in order to achieve more scale, Stephen Dove, Chief Digital Officer, said: “We all know that the way in which media is distributed is changing, has changed and is going to continue to change. Instead of competing in a local market in Spain, we‘re going to have to compete with the largest companies in the world: Apple, Google, Netflix and increasingly Facebook.”

In terms of products and services to be rolled out as part of the roadmap for the next twelve months, Digital + will build on the deal it announced with Samsung to offer services on the CE giant’s connected TVs in the form of a pre-installed app and establish a similar arrangement with one of the two main video game console manufacturers in Spain. It is also announcing a deal with a Spanish telco for a DSL PVR-enabled IP STB delivered free to those who subscribe to Canal+. For content, Dove revealed that it would redouble its efforts and pointed to enhanced sports offerings in particular with football.

Such a move has large ramifications for fundamental technology in use by the company and Dove also accepted a need for Digital+ to focus on having the right partners especially for the development of its flagship iPlus STB which will be at the heart of the TV propositions.

Cisco is going to be the key partner and even though it will work with Digital+ in order to develop iPlus, it does, as Everth Flores, Director Operations SP Video Europe explained, have a vision of eventually doing away with boxes altogether.

He said: “The box will get smaller and so where do you move the box, network, gateway, data centre? The key is the architecture . We need to trim back the STB as an industry in order to enable more innovation more quickly and also enable the ease of deployment and the reduction of Capex. In as much as we can we are going to tackle that from an architecture perspective as well as from a commercial financial perspective, which is equally as important.”