On-line and free-to-air catch-up TV specialists Fetch TV says it is in detailed discussions with some of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-end flat-panel TV sets. The aim, says commercial director David Bloom, is to offer and bundle Fetch TV’s interactive HDTV services in with the sale of increasingly popular OTT-enabled ‘connected TVs’, “and allow panel-manufacturers a share of the long-tail revenues that flow from our service.”
Fetch TV is backed by privately-held IP Vision, although one of its major shareholders is Paris-quoted Netgem SA, as well as F&C Reit Asset Management. Fetch TV’s concept taps into a nation’s free-to-air digital transmissions (such as the UK’s Freeview) plus the added benefits of Ethernet connectivity in order to offer subscribers a comprehensive VOD/IPTV and ‘catch up’ programming service.
Fetch TV has succeeded in getting its set-top boxes sold by mass-market retailers such as the UKs Tesco supermarket chain. Fetch TV’s top of the range box now costs about £160 (€181) and this includes dual tuners and 320GB of hard drive storage. Fetch TV will introduce a low-cost device later this year, retailing at about £99. Buyers can view certain services free-of-charge, but then there is a wide range of subscription options available, including access to BSkyB channels, as well as Fetch TV’s own exclusive range of channels, VOD options and services.
Bloom claims Fetch TV has subscriber numbers measured in the “tens of thousands”, and is forecasting rapid growth through the rest of this year leading to a doubling or perhaps quadrupling of subscribers by year end.