By Apurva Chaudhary & Vikas SN
Update: Mobile value added services company DigiVive has partnered with National Geographic Channel to stream its shows on nexGTv. The financial details of the partnership have not been disclosed.
As a part of the deal, DigiVive will be able to stream shows such as Taboo, Megastructures, Air Crash Investigation, among others. The channel will be included as a part of existing subscription package that one has opted for. nexGTv currently offers native apps for Android, iOS, Symbian and BlackBerry mobile platforms. Alternatively, users can also download the app by sending a SMS ‘MYTV’ to 58888.
In July 2013, DigiVive secured live and on demand mobile streaming rights for the upcoming India Zimbabwe cricket series from the sports media firm Seven3Sports, which in turn had received it from the master distributor Taj Sports. In March 2013, nexGTv had partnered Times Internet to secure non-exclusive mobile TV rights for IPL 2013. It had partnered with ESPN STAR Sports in September 2012, to secure mobile streaming rights for ICC World Cup T20. Last month, the company had also secured mobile streaming and video on demand rights for the India, West India and Sri Lanka tri-series from Taj TV.
The company claims to have tie-ups with telcos and device makers including Airtel, Vodafone, Idea, BSNL, MTNL, MTS, Videocon, Zen Mobile, Karbonn and Pental Mobiles among others. The company also claims to have 14 million users at present, a significant growth from 9 million users in March 2013.
As part of the deal, Spuul will be offering episodes from 11 Star Plus shows including Diya Aur Bati Hum, Ek Nanad Ki Khushiyon Ki Chaabi – Meri Bhabhi and Pyaar Ka Dard Meetha Meetha Pyaara Pyaara and reality TV show Junior Master Chef and others. The deal period or the terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
The service will available to Spuul’s premium subscribers in India and Pakistan and can be accessed on the web and its mobile apps across iOS and Android. Premium subscriptions are currently available for Rs 49 for 3 days or Rs 331 per month.
As part of the launch promotions, Spuul will be offering seven old episodes of each of the above mentioned shows, which were released prior to yesterday, for free throughout September 2013. When we checked, we noticed that users can view these free episodes by logging into their account either through their Facebook or Google account credentials. Alternatively, users can also register for an account through their email address.
Is Star TV India Finally Opening Up To Others? What’s particularly interesting is that until this deal, Star TV had stayed away from providing full length episodes through third party players and offered it only through its Star Player portal. It had partnered with YouTube last year to offer TV shows but these were only five minute previews, following which the videos directed users to Star Player to view the entire episode. Its sister channel Life OK initially offered full length episodes on YouTube but later switched to five minutes previews as well. So, we wonder if Star TV India is finally opening up to other players with this deal.
That being said, Star was planning to launch a video site called MyStar, as part of taking its content digital. However, it doesn’t appear to have taken off yet.
Other players: Google’s YouTube already has a majority of Hindi TV channels onboard its platform. This includes entertainment channels like Colors, Zee TV, and MTV India and news channels like ABP News, Times Now and TV9 among others. It also offers regional channels across various languages including Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and others.
Times Internet’s online video streaming service BoxTV had recently inked a tie-up to feature National Geographic Channel (NGC) shows and documentaries for all its Indian consumers. Besides this, there is Zee’s Ditto TV and Multi Screen Media’s Sony LIV.