It’s been enabled by EE’s technology partner Netgem, which first demonstrated the capability at IBC 2016.
The channels including those found on the TV Player app and music channels The Box have been allocated their own channel numbers on the Freeview-based system.
“The proliferation of OTT content is great news for operators because they can differentiate more and they can push their fibre offer more,” explains Shan Eisenberg, Netgem’s London-based commercial & marketing director, adding that it was particularly attractive to bundles of international content.
Eisenberg told Broadband TV News that Netgem had approached EE with the idea that had been warmly received by the content providers. Rather than been placed behind an app, they can show an array of channels, which when selected can each point to a channel upgrade.
In terms of technology, the challenge is interpreting the information from the content providers, and translating it into a format that can be understood.
“Unifying the content can be difficult because languages are never the same, not only because you have to juggle the metadata sources, but you also have to find a logic to display them with,” says Eisenberg. has also given a linear channel debut to NBCUniversal’s Hayu, which initially launched on Virgin Media as a catch-up service.
Meanwhile, the latest content provider to come on board EE is NBCUniversal’s Hayu, ahead of its launch later this year on other platforms, including Apple TV.