Adding a key distribution point, Wurl TV said it has launched its mix of OTT channels on TiVo’s platform for retail devices as well as set-tops that are distributed by TiVo’s various MVPD partners.
Wurl TV’s content is already featured on TiVo’s retail platform, but it will be up to TiVo’s MVPD partners to determine when they will provide access to Wurl TV’s mix of OTT offerings, Sean Doherty, Wurl’s CEO and founder, said.
In the U.S., TiVo’s MVPD partners include RCN, Grande Communications, Suddenlink (now part of Altice USA), Atlantic Broadband, Armstrong, Midco, Mediacom Communications, and Wave Broadband, among others.
UPDATE: Wurl TV uses its ad-supported streaming platform to manage and deliver a mix of linear-style OTT channels across several genres on set-top boxes. Its co-produced channels include Newsy, IGN TV, Baeble Music TV, and FNL Network. A Wurl TV-produced offering, the ALT Channel, features content from partners such as Busca TV, Sportskool, ZoominTV, Splash News, Obsev, Foody TV, Comedy Time, and Bonnier, among others.
TiVo will integrate those OTT channels within its guide alongside traditional TV channels from cable operators and other MVPDs.
In the TiVo scenario, Wurl TV’s content will be offered as a “jump channel” within the user interface. Doherty said additional metadata work is underway that will make Wurl TV’s channels appear indistinguishable from the way regular TV channels appear in the TiVo guide.
Several cable operators, including WideOpenWest, Fidelity Communications and TDS, also offer Wurl TV’s OTT channels via boxes powered by what used to be known as the Arris Whole Home Solution. Espial recently acquired that part of Arris’s business and has since rebranded it as Elevate, a cloud-based, turnkey video platform that is partly underpinned by the technology it bought from Arris.
UPDATE:Light Reading uncovered a Wurl TV slide deck that identifies several other MVPDs, including a batch of known TiVo MSO partners, that are on board to distribute Wurl's OTT channels, including Access Communications RCN, Suddenlink, GCI, Comporium, CCI, Docomo, Eagle Broadband, Easton Cable, Ellijay Cable, MI ConnecCon, Service Electric, Shentel Cable, Summit Broadband, TDS, and Wave Broadband.
Wurl TV’s business model is based on advertising. It runs ad-serving systems for its array of OTT channels that enables parties to buy ads against the OTT programming. Wurl TV also gives MVPD partners and opporutunity to sell a subset of that ad inventory.
Doherty said Wurl TV is working on more MVPD integration deals as operators continue to tie OTT content to their traditional pay TV platforms. Potential platform candidates include Comcast’s X1, OpenTV, and Dish Network, which offers certain OTT apps on its broadband-connected Hopper-branded boxes.
Wurl TV isn’t alone in this concept. Liberty Global-backed Frequency and Zone TV are among competitors that are teamed up with MVPDs to blend OTT fare with their traditional pay TV offerings.