As cable television begins to take a back seat to streaming services, Cable Bahamas is hoping to “reimagine” its television services by allowing customers to tailor the content they want, so that they only get the shows they are interested in, the company’s Vice President of Media David Burrows said yesterday.
In a media roundtable discussion on regional distribution rights held by Rev yesterday, Burrows outlined how the way people consume television has drastically changed in the past few years and moved the company to produce a campaign called “reimagine” for its new, proposed packaging.
He said Rev is constantly negotiating for content on behalf of its customers, similarly to many of the other popular networks and streaming sites.
“Whether it’s Netflix, whether it’s Hulu Plus, Whether it’s Fox, whether it’s HBO, Showtime, Starz, everyone’s competing for content, everyone’s developing content,” he said.
“So there’s content that we may be getting that someone already has a license for in the region, another player. I do think we have great access to content, it’s a question of which content are we able to carry versus which content other players are carrying.
“So if you’re not finding it with us on Rev, you may find it on another service.”
Burrows said Rev has negotiated for a lot of content for The Bahamas, even in the face of losing entire channels like Hallmark. He said the company negotiated the license to show certain moves that can be found on Hallmark.
Now the company is seeking permission from the Utilities
Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA), its regulator, to allow Rev customers to tailor this content so they get only the content they want to consume.
“The major tenants of the repackaging center around shifting from assorted packages to genre-based TV packages, reducing paywalls between consumers and premium content by shifting package requirements and moving premium content to introductory packages,” a Rev TV statement explained.
An important partnership between Rev and HBO has allowed Bahamians to consume HBO without the Spanish language content, that was the base of some frustration.
Corporate Vice President of Affiliate Relations for HBO Latin America Javier Figuera said HBO has packaged content especially for the English speaking Caribbean and Rev has invested a lot in bringing that to The Bahamas.
Figuera said Rev will likely provide its newly reimagined, tailored packages, as well as nonlinear or watch-on-demand content on its app, similar to Netflix or Disney Plus.
“What we’re trying to do is not just look at television the way television has been produced in the past,” said Burrows.
“The television landscape in 2021 is a completely different landscape. You have Disney Plus, you have all these other OTT (over-the-top media service) providers. There’s so much diversity in content that you have to look at this a little bit differently.”
Burrows said Rev has spent more than $1 million developing local content that it hopes to distribute outside of The Bahamas.
He added that Rev plans to introduce a new channel called Go242 that focuses on everything to do with movement in the country, including traffic cameras at intersections, live airport feeds and live airport and ferry information.