ZoneTV, a “digital-first” video service that’s targeting integrations with MVPD set-tops, said it will be heading to NATPE next week looking to do some major wheeling and dealing.
ZoneTV, now helmed by former AT&T exec Jeff Weber, said it will be going to the show in Miami looking for 10,000 hours of content it can use toward a planned programming expansion and the coming debut of a service that will enable that content, in genres such as sports, food and lifestyles, to be delivered inside MVPD set-tops and interactive program guides alongside a pay TV operator’s regular content.
The company will be looking to broaden a library of licensed content that already includes fare from sources such as Field and Stream, Saveur and Popular Science. ZoneTV’s focus on set-tops seems to share similarities of others that are trying to integrate OTT content into MVPD guides, including Frequency, a company backed by Liberty Media as well as Wurl, which has announced WideOpenWest, Fidelity Communications and TDS among its pay TV partners.
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ZoneTV, formerly known as ES3, initially targeted Mediaroom, the IPTV middleware platform that Ericsson acquired from Microsoftin the fall of 2013 that powers pay TV services from companies such as AT&T, Hawaiian Telecom, Telus, Frontier Communications and CenturyLink.
DirecTV, now part of AT&T, was ZoneTV’s first launch partner outside the Mediaroom environment. More recently, Comcast integrated ZoneTV’s “Santa Tracker” app on its X1 platform during the holidays.
“NATPE calls itself the ‘forum for new ideas,’ and ZoneTV is all about creating TV’s new delivery models,” Weber said, in a statement. “Our whole programming concept is fresh: developing linear programming formats that pay TV providers can add to their line-ups without having to clear or manage bandwidth for the new content.”