China's TCL leveraged its TVOS software arrangement with Roku to become the second biggest supplier of smart TVs in the U.S., trailing only Korea's Samsung, before diversifying its product line into Google's Android TV (and later Google TV) three years ago.
Now, with Roku having moved on itself to start manufacturing its own line of branded smart TVs, Chinese consumer electronics company TCL is taking steps to develop its own streaming operating system.
On Friday, Cineverse (just rebranded from Cinedigm) announced a new deal in which TCL will not only license around 30 Cineverse FAST channels, but will also deliver them to North American TCL buyers via Cineverse's Matchpoint SaaS streaming distribution platform.
The Cineverse content and technology will first emerge as a new streaming app on TCL TV's powered by Google TV. Later this year, that app will also begin to show up in the operating environment of TCL's Roku TVs shipped and sold domestically, a TCL rep told Next TV.
Through the deal, Cineverse's Matchpoint technology platform will provide content services for new TCL televisions in North America. Cineverse will be one of a "select few" content aggregators to provide key ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) programming as well as content aggregation services. Cineverse will offer its full portfolio of free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels to TCL users.
The arrangement also calls for Cineverse's FASTs and Mathpoint tech to be leveraged by TCL smart phones.
In addition, Cineverse will provide TCL with programmatic ad and direct ad sales expertise for the breadth of content it delivers to the CE maker.
The Cineverse deal follows an agreement with streaming aggregation tech company ScreenHits last summer. TCL is clearly working on something here.
"As a top two best-selling TV brand in the U.S. for four consecutive years, TCL's growth has certainly benefitted from the increasing adoption of smart TVs, but our continued success is largely due to the company's innovation, vertical integration and vital partners like Cineverse," said Mark Zhang, president of TCL North America, in a statement.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!