Sunday, January 19, 2014

Public viewing coming to a place near you?

With the Winter Olympics and the FIFA World Cup around the corner, once again the telecoms angle of mega sports events is in the spotlight. One aspect is public viewing. A Danish company (dnp denmark, through xScreen Interactive) is pushing a 100 inch full HD optical projection screen. I have seen a sample a few months ago and the picture & sound quality were very good. They are now marketing it as a (white-label) 'public viewing system'. Pay-TV operators looking to extend their market beyond households are the target customers, but anyone in the value chain could step in.

It's easy to see how this will work:
  • Public spots, anywhere there are people wasting time waiting, basically, are candidates. Or eating and drinking of course (bars, restaurants, hospitals, public transport, fitness centers, sports clubs, colleges, etc.). In the Netherlands alone this is a 50k location addressable market.
  • Obviously, food and drinks consumption will go up.
  • Ad inserts are made possible through narrowcasting techniques.
For the venue, this looks like a one-sided business model, taking money from drinks etc. They will still have to pay a pay-TV operator (i.e. dnp/xScreen's customer) for the TV services. The pay-TV operator can of course throw in additional business services, including premium content.

Alternatively, the venue or its representative (e.g. a brewer such as InBev or Heineken, for its affiliated pubs) could buy the system directly from dnp/xScreen and charge a pay-TV operator for displaying its content. That would turn the model into a two-sided business.

In any case, for venue owners the differentiators are:
  • Price. The system is much cheaper than a large plasma or LED screen.
  • Quality. The quality is HD i.e. beats what you could do with a simple beamer.
  • Ad inserts. The option to insert ads using narrowcasting adds value.

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