Addressing OTT Opportunity for Pay TV Providers

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk on what the future of over-the-top (OTT) video holds. In fact, several analysts, including Heavy Reading’s Adi Kishore, have lots to say on the subject.

In a recent interview, Kishore revealed that he agrees with the popular belief that OTT competes with pay TV services, but thinks true cannibalization of traditional pay TV by OTT is still far in the future. In fact, he believes OTT presents an opportunity for pay TV operators to integrate OTT content with traditional viewing services.

Kishore also cautions operators to tread carefully when providing streaming content. OTT is eating up bandwidth, as evidenced by bottlenecks during the March Madness basketball tournament in the U.S. and by heavy usage of the BBC’s iPlayer service in the UK. OTT rights are also complicated by net neutrality, regulatory, and political issues. Kishore believes that operators will be challenged with handling and delivering OTT content.

Operators also have an opportunity to monetize OTT and use it to generate revenue, according to Kishore. Possible monetization methods might include providing a dedicated pipeline for certain OTT content providers, as well as advertising.

Other analysts agree that, while OTT presents a threat to pay TV services, it doesn’t own the market quite yet. Given the current challenges and opportunities, many analysts predict that pay TV operators, rather than OTT services, will continue to dominate the market for some time to come. The most successful online TV subscription services will most likely come from pay TV providers leveraging existing content right agreements and relationships with television networks. OTT is here to stay, but it most likely will continue to share the stage with pay TV operators for a while. @Light_Reading