Wife Swap maker RDF Media hopes to launch a video-on-demand service that will offer customers the chance to download the company's programmes and those of other independent television producers.
According to a report by Broadcast magazine, RDF will be the first indie to run such an offering—and the move follows recent agreements between Pact, the TV producers' trade body, and terrestrial broadcasters, that allow programme makers to exploit broadcast rights in new media including broadband and mobile television.
The deal with Channel 4, for instance, allows the broadcaster a 30-day window during which it can offer previously transmitted programmes via video-on-demand. However, after the agreed period rights revert back to the producer, who can resell the other shows to broadcasters and platforms.
RDF, says the Broadcast article, is exploring three different of commercial models: pay-per-view, pay-to-own and subscription. And it adds that the company has not ruled out making its proposed new service available overseas.
RDF chief executive David Frank told Broadcast that it is "early days" but an embryonic service may be available by Christmas—and then deals will be struck between the producer and third party indies depending on how swiftly deals can be signed.
Frank said: "The broad outline is that the new media terms of trade established over the past few weeks have made it clear who owns what on non-standard platforms".
He added: "As a result, we have spent quite a bit of money over the past month commissioning research into what appeals to customers online".
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