The World Cup is dominating the airwaves. Now TV holds the local rights for paid-TV broadcasts of the football matches. Meanwhile, ViuTV is also screening 19 select World Cup games for free to let all Hongkongers join the party.
That, of course, has not prevented some football fans to acquire illegal set-top boxes or watch illegal live streaming of the matches, although they risk incurring heavy fines from the authorities.
There’s another way. Now TV has launched its own over-the-top (OTT) box Now E, which enables fans to watch and review all World Cup matches and other online TV shows anytime.
OTT services have been developing very rapidly in recent years. Many free and paid TV channels have also joined the OTT market. It takes time to set up a captive network, and no network operator could dominate the market.
Offering OTT services to snap up market share from rivals would be an ideal approach.
However, OTT service providers may experience some delays in broadcasting live TV programs because they have no control over the internet quality of other networks. If the internet connection in some of the viewers’ homes is not stable, that may also affect the quality of the live streaming.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on June 27
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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