Alibaba inks deal on bundled Internet, cable TV

Staff writer
Future TV Asia

Alibaba is set to collaborate with China’s Hunan Satellite Television and DMG Entertainment to deliver cable, mobile entertainment, and subscription-based Internet services to Chinese consumers.

According to a filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange where Hunan and DMG are listed, the trio will initially offer films, TV and gaming content to Hunan TV’s six million cable TV subscribers. Plans to deliver fee-based educational and gaming content to subscribers are also in the pipeline.

The new services, to be available through Alibaba’s T-Mall platform, marks the first bundled mobile, Internet and cable TV entertainment package to be offered in China. No launch dates have been announced.

The collaboration is part of Alibaba’s strategy to tap into China’s booming entertainment services industry. It will also benefit DMG Entertainment, which is casting its sights to become a global entertainment power, rivaling global giants such as Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Other technology companies, including Tencent Holdings, have also started to work with entertainment and film companies to tap into the growing market for online video content in China.

Last month, Alibaba announced plans to start an online video streaming service called Tmall Box Office (TBO), which is expected to offer content from China and other countries.

But unlike other Chinese rivals that offer movies and TV shows mostly for free, Alibaba will provide about 90% of TBO’s content through monthly subscriptions or on a pay-per-view basis.

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