Days after Telstra announced their new T Box personal video recorder, the Seven Media Group who own the lion’s share of TiVo have announced that effective from December 1 selected TiVo customers will be able to access a new unknown CASPA online content portal for music and movie downloads.
However nothing is known about CASPA and a search of the web has failed to reveal any content sites marketing themselves as CASPA which is an acronym for Content & Services Platform Asia.
Currently TiVo owners have to pay up to $1,100 for a TiVo unit with IP software and 1TB of external storage. Additionally users will be charged between $3.95 and $5.95 for movies. TV programs will be sold at up to $2.95 an episode. On top of this consumers will also have to pay the broadband fee for downloading the content. What is not known is whether the TiVo service will offer TV programs from free to air networks including Ten, Nine, SBS and the ABC.
Seven Media Group who own 66.7% of Hybrid Television Services who are the licensee of the TiVo service in Australia, is fighting to compete up against Foxtel and Telstra’s new T Box service which is tipped to be given away for free with a Telstra BigPond service next year. They will also have to compete against Fetch TV, who has already established a relationship with iiNet and Internode to deliver a low-cost pay-TV service over broadband to consumers who have IP enabled media centres, TV’s and set top boxes.
The Australian revealed yesterday that Fetch TV, backed by Malaysian billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan, aimed to bring together a coalition of smaller ISPs which would on-sell video content delivered by an internet-connected TV set-top box to their broadband customers. Currently Internode is partnering with TiVo in an effort to sell a content service accessed via the set top box. The ISP’s who on sell the Fetch TV service will charge customers up to $25 a month say Company officials.
Robbee Minicola the CEO of Hybrid has refused to say how many TiVo set top boxes she has sold to date in Australia. She is also refusing to say how many transactions for Pizza’s or Blockbuster have been made via the current TiVo download service.
According to Hybrid Chairman James Warburton CASPA will initially be included in TiVo recorders hooked into a fibre, broadband network, research program currently being conducted in Tasmania. The project which is also linked with the roll out of the National Broadband Network in Tasmania will test download speeds and consumer acceptance of the service.
Minicola who recently said that at Channel Seven the “Fxxxed” word, was often used when referring to Foxtel has struggled to establish TiVo as a dominant brand up against Foxtel who recently expanded their content offering with free TV program downloads, new HD channels and a new Internet service which allows programs to be recorded from a PC.