UPC to launch on-demand TV and movies services this Friday

22 May 2012

This Friday more than a third of digital homes served by UPC will be able to access the RTÉ Player and TV3’s 3player. In addition, deals with six major movie studios will see UPC launch on-demand movie services that will compete with Netflix and high-street video stores.

The cable TV and broadband provider said that by the summer’s end some 600,000 homes in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford will be able to access the services.

UPC sales and marketing director Mark Coan described the new services as a game changer and a tangible result of the company’s €500m network upgrade over the past five years.

In addition to RTÉ and TV3’s respective TV players, Coan told Siliconrepublic.com that the company has also struck deals with BBC, ITV and various US TV producers, like MGM, Food Network, History and Discovery Channel, to include the latest UK and US TV shows and box-set dramas for on-demand consumption.

“From launch we’ll have about 1,300 hours of UK and US TV content, including all five series of Dr Who, shows like The Good Wife, Dexter and True Blood.”

Coan said the 1,300 hours of content equates to €2,500 worth of DVD TV content.

He said the service has been trialled over the last month.

The on-demand TV services will be available for free from Friday to subscribers to its main digital TV package while the on-demand movies will range in price from €4.99 to €5.99 (HD) for new releases while an extensive library of movies from major movie house will cost €1.99 to rent.

In the UK, up to 26pc of people say they watch more TV through on-demand services than they do watching traditional linear TV services.

The move by UPC corresponds with a general shift across the Irish TV broadcasting market. On Monday, Siliconrepublic.com reported on RTÉ’s new digital strategy, which will result in 15pc of the national broadcaster’s revenues coming from digital products like on-demand content, merchandising and other services by 2015.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years