Aggregator targets Russians with MoëTV

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TV-via-broadband start-up Aggregator is launching its first service today—a Russian language portal called MoëTV ('My TV' in English) that Aggregator says "is set to change the TV viewing habits of over half a million Russians living in the UK".

MoëTV (pronounced 'my-oar TV') provides on-demand entertainment, drama, current affairs, films, documentaries, music and children's content. Around 400 hours of programming are available from launch; that is due to grow to an average of 1,000 hours, refreshed monthly.

Content partners include Amedia, Mosfilm, MTV, National Geographic, nTV and RenTV. Consumers can watch programmes on a non-subscription pay-per-view basis for between 99p and £2.99 per programme. To view unlimited content they will pay £15.99 per month.

Viewers need a broadband connection from any internet service provider (ISP) and suitable PC or laptop. Programming can be viewed on a PC, or on a TV using a media extender. Aggregator's delivery model allows consumers to download programmes overnight so they do not exceed their ISP's monthly download limits.

"The launch of this service will provide broadcast-quality television services to the 500,000 Russian speakers in the UK," said Aggregator's co-founder and director of programming Chris Griffin.

"This is a well-educated, affluent community that has grown rapidly in the UK. From a TV point of view they are woefully under-served by mainstream television platforms. MoëTV can ensure that they, and their families, stay in touch with their language and culture while they are living abroad."

MoëTV is the first of several planned service launches from Aggregator, each targeting niche audiences.

Co-founder and CEO Martin Goswami said: "It seems that many operators currently planning internet protocol television (IPTV) services are targeting audiences who are already well-served on existing platforms. We've looked at that model and rejected it. What we've done instead is to develop packages of the best content available for specialist audiences who are not part of the mainstream pay-TV franchise."

Griffin added: "Ultimately we are designing a smart, TV-over-broadband platform that drives new routes to the consumer and opens up new revenue streams for content owners. Our service ensures a high-quality viewing experience that is targeted at specific communities and available to anyone with a broadband connection."

Aggregator announced in July it had won £9m in new funding from 3i, Amadeus Capital Partners and Intel Capital to finance the roll-out of new products and services over the next two years. Next year it intends to integrate broadband programming on PCs with digital terrestrial television, offering consumers a Freeview set-top-box with digital TV recorder. Programmes will be downloaded to the set-top box via broadband.

Lovelace Consulting  |  03.10.2006

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