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Pay-per-view [ ˌpeɪpəˈvjuː ] ( English for payment per view ) is a payment model for pay-TV or video-on-demand offers. The viewer only pays for programs actually seen that are "activated" (decoded) on the specified or desired date. Typical pay-per-view offers are feature films , erotic films , sports (e.g. football , wrestling ) or concerts .


Pay-per-view (PPV) already existed in the age of analog television broadcasting . However, it has hardly caught on, except for adult content in the USA. Only with the introduction of digital TV broadcasting could two main problems from the analogue PPV history be resolved:

The number of TV channels can be increased dynamically and the capacity does not have to be managed by staggering, as PPV is accessible to all digital TV customers.

The PPV offer was initially only available to customers of pay TV channels. It was offered as an additional offer in addition to the normal pay TV programs. Outside of Germany, many PPV offers can now also be used without an active pay-TV subscription. However, prior registration with the provider of the PPV content is required in order to be able to bill for the content accessed.


Current PPV offers usually require the following:

  • Digital TV receiver for receiving television content (via cable or satellite).
  • A SmartCard registered with the PPV provider to enable ( decrypt , decode ) the TV content

Technology / procedure

The PPV providers broadcast their content permanently. As in normal TV programs, the various contents are broadcast one after the other, but in encrypted form. Only when the end customer activates PPV content, for example a feature film, with the provider is the content decrypted and thus visible. The activation triggers the decryption of the data for a certain period of time. PPV is an individual request procedure.

Order channels

In order to be able to see a desired PPV event, it must first be activated by the provider of the PPV service. For this activation the customer u. a. offered the following routes:

The end customer can select and activate the desired event directly via the menu of his set-top box , which is displayed on his TV
Internet / WAP
The end customer selects the desired event on the provider's Internet or WAP site and orders it at the push of a button
The end customer can also place an order by sending a short message
IVR ( Interactive Voice Request )
The end customer is guided through an automatic dialog system on the phone in which he can enter the order either by voice or keyboard.

The usual parameters that the end customer needs for an order are:

  • SmartCard or customer number
  • pin code
  • Event information: order number and time or direct selection of the event.

Depending on the order method, some parameters are omitted. For example, when placing an on-screen order, the end customer does not have to enter the SmartCard or customer number, as this is known to the end device initiating the order (the SmartCard is inserted in the card slot).