Over-the-top (OTT) streaming operator Totalmovie, which aims to overtake Netflix as dominating over-the-top (OTT) Latin America, has unveiled its live television service, available in the 40 countries where it offers its existing on-demand subscription service. Combined, the two will make for a multiplatform service available across Internet-connected devices including TVs, mobile phones, tablets, streaming players and video gaming consoles.
The new service also includes catch-up TV, which allows viewers to see programs from the previous eight days that are automatically stored on the Totalmovie Cloud service and network-based DVR.
The No. 2 OTT provider in the region (behind Netflix) offers a catalog of movies and television series from a range of Hollywood, local and independent studios, including Disney (News - Alert), Sony and a sister company, Mexican broadcast network TV Azteca—both are owned by media giant Grupo Salinas.
El Economista previously reported that the service is teaming up with Sony's Latin American unit, which will embed the Totalmovie app into its connected TVs, Blu-ray players, tablets and smartphones. Meanwhile wireless operator lusacell, another sister company, will offer carrier billing for the service in Mexico, the newspaper said.
Samer Salameh, Executive Chairman of Totalmovie, also said that the service partners with Akamai (News - Alert) for content delivery, with technical highlights that include a one-half to one-second channel change time, which is about 50 percent faster than the services currently available from digital cable or satellite systems.
Totalmovie is banking on the live element to be a significant differentiator for its service, which already operates in most major markets; it plans to roll out across most if not all Latin American countries in 2013. With almost 2 million registered users, it faces Netflix and Walmart's VUDU, along with regional competitors. These include Bazuca in Chile, Claro Video from Telcel (News - Alert) in Colombia and Argentina (it plans to go region-wide by the end of 2013), Carlos Slim’s TV Uno in Mexico, and NetMovies, Terra TV Video Store, Saraiva Digital and Muu in Brazil.
"Totalmovie will be the world's first live online TV service,"announced Grupo Salinas President and CEO Ricardo Salinas Pliego, according to El Economista. He added, "This is an important step, and for all the companies that are in the business of free-to-air broadcast television, a window is opening to distribute their content globally."
The operator also plans to partner with cable and satellite providers going forward, it said.
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Edited by Allison Boccamazzo