Hybrid Television - A Competitive Equalizer for Pay and Broadcast TV Operators

Thursday, November 4th, 2010
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IMS Research Says Viewers Are the Ultimate Victor

AUSTIN, Texas — Recent announcements related to hybrid television have underscored its importance in addressing operator shortcomings in an increasingly competitive television market. According to Paul Erickson, Senior Analyst at IMS Research, hybrid TV is changing the competitive landscape for both pay and broadcast TV – to the benefit of viewers.

To Erickson, “While some doubted how quickly it would happen, augmenting traditional video delivery methods with additional content and services over IP has finally come of age.” In IMS’ report, ‘The World Market for Hybrid Set-top Boxes – 2010 Edition,’ hybrid pay-TV set-top shipments are forecast to reach nearly 87 million units in 2015.

In the UK, Freeview and YouView embody the value of hybrid TV for the broadcast audience. Sky and other top satellite TV providers are deploying VOD over IP. Entone is delivering hybrid solutions bringing competitive pay-TV functionality to smaller providers. Google TV is making continuing progress in the consumer electronics market.

These recent events illustrate how traditional TV delivery is being augmented with services and content delivered over IP. For pay-TV, hybrid delivery helps cover competitive gaps related to infrastructure limitations or rebroadcast rights. For broadcasters, hybrid TV enables services that bridge the gap between pay and free TV. For both parties, hybrid TV enables connected applications such as social networking, Web video, and real-time information updates.

While pay-TV operators are augmenting their service offerings, and broadcasters are deepening the value proposition of free TV, ultimately hybrid TV benefits the viewer. Erickson summarizes, “Hybrid TV viewers enjoy greater depth and value from pay and free TV than ever before. With broadband adoption accelerating, the hybrid concept will continue to spread quickly.”