Multi Screen Media’s video on demand service Sony LIV has inked a distribution deal with Times Internet’s video on demand BoxTV to offer its video content to BoxTV users globally, reports IndianTelevision.com.
As part of the deal, BoxTV will be getting access to television content from MSM’s TV channels like Sony Entertainment Television India (SET India) and SAB TV and web-only videos like Quickisodes and Short crunch. The company claims that users will be able to access over 18 years of Sony’s content across various genres like drama, comedy and thriller among others. The deal period or the terms of the deal were not disclosed.
This is probably BoxTV’s first deal pertaining to fresh TV content. Prior to this, it offered content from classic TV shows like Naya Nukkad and Dekh Bhai Dekh among others and International shows like Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, Hannah Montana, Desperate Housewives and Scrubs. It had also added National Geographic content last August.
In comparison, YouTube has tie-ups with majority of the popular television channels in India to offer full-length episodes (with an exception of Star TV India channels which only offers previews on their respective YouTube channels). Even, Sony offers its TV content on YouTube through dedicated YouTube channels for SET India and SAB TV, although we’ve noticed the episodes are usually a day late.
Lesser Controls & Poorer Video experience
When we checked, we noticed that the site currently offers episodes from 11 television shows across SET India and SAB TV; others might be in the works. What’s worth noting though is the significant branding of Sony LIV on the show pages, start of each video and during the entire video.
The video experience however is much poorer as compared to other videos on the service. It doesn’t support resume watching feature and doesn’t appear in the user’s history as well.
The videos also seems to be using a different video player, which features lesser player controls and no option to change the video quality, quite different from its existing video player (Check this and later this for a comparison). We are a bit curious as to why BoxTV isn’t offering the same experience with these videos as compared to other videos on the service.
Update: BoxTV business head Pandurang Nayak has informed Medianama that it has embedded the Sony LIV player on its platform as part of this deal, due to which these videos have a different player and don’t support many of the BoxTV’s features.
Nayak also claimed that the difference “hardly exists” on devices when they did user trials. However, note that the content is yet to go publicly live on BoxTV’s mobile, tablet and connected device apps.
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