Liberty Global’s content division Chellomedia reports record numbers for its Dutch pay-TV operation. The number of subscribers to Film1 and Sport1 reached 430,000 as at February 1, 2010. This is a growth of up to 18% for 2009 and 2.5 times more since the relaunch of the channels in 2006.
Film 1 On Demand, which allows Film1 subscribers to choose from over 100 films, is another success story. Since August 2008, 3.8 million films have been requested. The service is offered as S-VOD to all subscribers to the channel. Most current titles that are available on the four-channel multiplex can also be accessed on the VOD service.
As reported in Broadband TV News, Sport1 also announced that it has reached an agreement with KPN Interactive TV to carry the live sports multiplex of up to six channels.
Jeroen Bergman, MD at Chello Benelux, said in a statement that “After a few difficult years in the beginning, we are now posting figures in the black. This had already worked out for Film 1 and we expect Sport 1 to break even soon too. All this is thanks to tougher negotiations for broadcasting rights and an increase in the number of subscriptions. We have great expectations for 2010 due to continued strong growth in the number of digital TV households and the positive influence of the soccer World Cup in South Africa.”
At the moment, Film 1 On Demand is only available on the UPC platform; Chellomedia hopes to expand the distribution to other platforms. Since its launch in August 2008, films have been accessed a total of 3.8 million times. The busiest month was December 2009, when 420,000 film ‘requests’ took place. The most requested genre is children’s movies and the most popular film was the Disney production Bolt.