Internet TV service Digital Entertainment on Demand (DEOD), by Discover Digital, is bringing a range of entertaining new programmes to South Africa through a content partnership with Los Angeles-based Entertainment Studios.
Taryn Uhlmann, executive head: Content at Discover Digital, says the Entertainment Studios programmes to be launched on DEOD include a mix of stand-up comedy, shorter form comedies, sitcoms, daytime and reality TV series and courtroom reality programmes to extend DEOD’s overall offering and market reach.
Founded by popular US comedian Byron Allen in 1993, Entertainment Studios is a fully integrated global media production and distribution company with eight HD networks, dozens of first-run syndicated shows, over 5 000 hours of HD programming, a film distribution company and a podcast network.
Among the content coming to SA via DEOD will be: ES.TV, a ‘VIP view of Tinseltown tidbits’ offering behind-the-scenes celebrity interviews and movie news; Comedy Jam and Comics Unleashed, featuring the hottest talent in comedy; the sitcoms Mr. Box Office and The First Family; and Cars.tv for auto enthusiasts, further expanding DEOD’s motoring programming.
“These programmes have done very well in the US environment. We feel much of the Entertainment Studios content has never before been brought to South Africa, and the fact that many of the programmes are shorter form and easy content to ‘dip in and out of’ on the go, means they should resonate well with viewers who are concerned about data or are simply looking for light entertainment on the move,” says Uhlmann.
Freely Available Global News and Inspiring Programming
In addition to Entertainment Studios, Discover Digital has extended its TV channel offering for local viewers. The company has acquired two new international news channels, the German Deuche Welle, Turkish TRT World and three Inspirational channels including GODTV, Sonlife and Inspiration TV. For a richer customer experience, Discover Digital has created a freely accessible OTT TV zone on DEOD. These channels, in addition to existing DEOD channels France 24, Russia Today and Al Jazeera, are all part of a new free TV Channel section and are available to customers on DEOD.TV, without the need to register.
The free TV zone provides a curated platform of free-to-air news and inspiration-themed channels, allowing Discover Digital to not only demonstrate their various VOD tech products such as the Electronic Program Guide on a live service, but also gather customer feedback and insights and in turn provide customers with easy access to world news and inspiring content on a single platform.
Discover Digital MD, Stephen Watson, says: “The free-to-air News channels, providing global perspectives on breaking news, business, economics and culture, are available on the go and in one place on the ‘TV in your pocket’ ensuring audiences stay abreast of current affairs without skipping a beat, while the inspiration-themed channels offer a mix of gospel, religious, motivational and educational programming. We believe it is a fundamental right for people to have access to free global news and we also have a drive to make premium content easily available and accessible to all, and this move speaks to both these core principles”
The Free TV section will further offer viewers one-stop access to leading channels, with the advantage of Discover Digital’s local CDNs and Adaptive Bit Rate technology, which enables excellent quality streaming to any device.
“The latest enhancements to the Discover Digital solutions suite and the company’s DEOD service are in line with the company’s ongoing quest to drive innovation in on-demand entertainment across Africa,” says Watson.
The new content bolsters DEOD’s already varied mix of movies, series, sport and news. “DEOD seeks to offer quality and desirable content not readily or otherwise available in South Africa or across Africa. DEOD is not only looking at offering titles that are already familiar to our audiences but also offering a selection of alternatives that appeal to a broader audience,” says Uhlmann.