Portico TV, Net2TV Corp.’s free, ad-supported streaming TV service, will secure a new distribution point early next year when Arris adds offering to its OTT platform for set-top boxes.
Arris will offer Portico TV on set-top boxes outfitted with the recently launched Arris Market, an OTT offering that complements traditional linear TV programming offered by cable operators via the vendor’s Whole Home Solution, which is anchored by a six-tuner HD-DVR with an integrated DOCSIS 3.0 modem and WiFi connectivity. Arris has not announced any operator deployments of Arris Market, though it’s believed that WideOpenWest will tap into it to provide access to Netflix on the MSO’s “Ultra TV” platform, which relies on Arris-made multi-room HD-DVRs. Other MSOs that have rolled out Arris's Whole Home Solution include Shaw Communications, Buckeye CableSystem, EastLink, Comporium, Consolidated Communications and Service Electric Cable TV.
Portico TV currently offers more than a dozen free, ad-supported OTT VOD channels with partners that feature long-form TV shows, including “Better Homes and Gardens,” “Southern Living,” “Saveur,” “Cooking Light,” “World Eats,” “Inside Golf,” “Cycle World, “Sports Illustrated,” “Field & Stream,” “A Closer Look with the AP,” “Newsy in 30,” "NASA Television," “The Week in TIME,” “PEOPLE This Week,” “Celeb TV,” and “Popular Science.”
Portico TV’s content is produced by curating and stitching together short-form Web videos on a given topic into 30- or 60-minute programs that are structured like traditional TV shows, including teasers before commercial breaks and a host who transitions viewers from one segment to the next.
The Arris agreement “gives us an opportunity to be in the same neighborhood of the most popular channels on television,” Jim Monroe, Net2TV’s SVP of programming, said.
Portico TV is also offered on Roku boxes, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, and connected TVs from Samsung, LG Electronics, and Philips. Portico TV also has a deal with Sony, but hasn’t been launched on that platform yet.
Net2TV won’t say how many consumers are tuning in, but Monroe said Portico TV is getting a 30% repeating viewing rate, and a “completion rate” in the range of 90% to 95%, with average viewing of 19 to 22 minutes.
While the notion of creating subscription-based programming is on the company’s roadmap, it’s not something Net2TV has executed on so far.
“We’re taking cues from our programming partners,” Monroe said.