Making money from MHP in Belgium

Delegates at the DVB World 2008 conference in Budapest this week heard a very interesting presentation from Chris Lefrere, in charge of innovation and business development for Flemish cable operator Telenet.

Having rolled out digital services using MHP, Telenet has developed partnerships with both private and public broadcasters to work on developing new revenue sources.These include applications such as on demand content, play-along and voting, enhanced content and digitext, and interactive advertising – all using MHP to drive the applications.

Telenet’s users rent the set-top box as part of their subscription. The prices quoted by Lefrere at DVB World were as follows:

  • SD Digibox – â¬4 per month
  • SD Digicorder – â¬6 per month (with integrated hard disc)
  • HD Digicorder – â¬8 per month (with integrated hard disc)

MHP controls all of the following functions on the STBs: “FastGuide” EPG, zapper guide, TV and movies on demand, recording from the programme guide, and pause & rewind live TV.

In January 2008 they had more than 400,000 digital subscribers – this represented a 73% year-on-year growth. Over the same period revenues on their digital service grew by 33%. In the fourth quarter of 2007 Telenet had almost 3.5 million video-on-demand transactions.

Lefrere stated that digital cable penetration has been much faster in Belgium than in other comparable markets, taking two and a half years to reach 12% of TV Households. The same penetration took six and a half years in the Netherlands. He suggested that much of the success can be attributed to the adoption of MHP, rather than a proprietary system. He said that MHP represents a single open interface for content producers, broadcasters, network operators, manufacturers and the government.

Source: Chris Lefrere, Making Money From MHP, presentation delivered at DVB World 2008, Budapest 13/03/2008.