UK telco BT is finally beginning to achieve real traction in the market with its IPTV service ‘BT Vision’, and will go on to even greater things now that it has acquired the broadcast rights to 38 English Premier League football games, according to Marc Watson, CEO of the service.
Mr. Watson told Reuters: “It takes a while when you are a telecoms company like BT, where customers have a very fine idea of what you offer, to persuade them to look at you for other services like entertainment.”
The BT Vision chief adds that the service is now making real progress and was the fastest-growing TV service in the land in terms of net additions, which rose 23% over the past year to reach 700,000 customers (although this figure is still small fry compared to the 10mn TV subs touted by Sky).
BT has recently started supplementing the DTT free-to-air channels available on the service with premium linear channels delivered via IP, and Mr. Watson expects the ongoing rollout of fibre-based broadband service ‘BT Infinity’ to complement the telco’s TV ambitions, now that it has moved to multicast delivery.
As a founding partner in the YouView joint venture (launched last week), BT will certainly be offering YouView-based TV products to its broadband customers, although the company has not yet given any firm indication on how this will tie in with the existing BT Vision offering.
Meanwhile, Nick Thomas, Principal Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media (publisher of IP&TV News), believes that despite having launched to much pomp and fanfare, a number of questions still linger over the YouView platform – his comments can be found here.
The first YouView-compatible product (a Humax PVR) has already been criticised by some for being overpriced at GB£ 299 (US$ 460) and with an incomplete list of features, although initial reports are unanimous that the user interface is well-rounded and attractive.