News Round-Up: Video-on-Demand

--Virgin Media: 2009 a Record-Breaking Year for VOD
--On Demand Group Appoints General Manager for Middle East
--Comcast Launches Black Cinema On Demand
--Time Warner Cable, Univision Team on VOD Sweepstakes

Because the [itvt] editorial team is busy working on The TV of Tomorrow Show (March 3rd-4th in San Francisco) and on our new EBIF Intensive event (March 5th in San Francisco), we will be covering most stories in summary/round-up form over the next few weeks. Here is a round-up of the latest VOD news:

  • UK cable operator, Virgin Media, announced Monday that 2009 was a record-breaking year for its VOD service, with over 750 million views, representing a 50% increase over the previous year. The company also revealed that 59% of its 3.7 million TV customers are now regularly using the service--an increase of over a quarter of a million homes in a year; and that the service generated 76 million views in December--an increase of 6% from the previous month. Virgin also said that the BBC iPlayer has received almost 300 million views since launching on its VOD platform in May, 2008, and that monthly viewing of the iPlayer increased from 10.5 million views in June, 2008 to a record 20 million views in December, 2009. In addition, the ITV Player generated 25 million views over the past three months, Virgin said, over 11 million movies were watched on-demand throughout 2009 (with December seeing a 29% increase over November), and on-demand music videos enjoyed a 17% increase in views in December. More detail is available here.
  • On Demand Group (ODG), the London-based VOD content-aggregation-and-management subsidiary of SeaChange International, has announced the appointment of Georges Dabaghi to the new position of general manager of the Middle East region, tasking him with overseeing the company's sales and market development in that region. He will establish a Middle East base for the company in Dubai Media City in the United Arab Emirates, ODG says (note: the company recently announced that it is powering a new VOD service from UAE-based telco, du--see the article published on, January 14th). In addition to leading ODG's VOD operations in the Middle East, he will "support opportunities for regional deployment of SeaChange IPTV middleware and video servers, three-screen video solutions and on-demand software products of eventIS, a SeaChange company," ODG says. His resume includes stints at Motorola, SITA, AT&T, Lucent and Nortel.
  • In honor of Black History Month, Comcast has launched the Black Cinema On Demand VOD package from cable industry-owned VOD content aggregator, iN Demand, that was profiled on January 27th.
  • Time Warner Cable's Southern California arm has teamed with Spanish-language broadcaster, Univision, to launch a "Univision On Demand Watch to Win" sweepstakes, targeting Latino viewers.


North America