YouView seeks more content across more platforms

YouView, the open IPTV platform backed by a consortium of UK broadcasters and telco providers, is looking to expand the service beyond its current set-top box iteration, according to the Financial Times.

The paper reported on 28 July that the shareholders in the internet TV service – the BBC, TalkTalk, BT and ITV – have started discussions about a multi-device expansion strategy that will take it beyond its set-top box iteration, as well as bring in other content providers.

The shareholders reportedly want to extend the service across devices, including TVs, smartphones and tablets, before the partnership agreement ends in March 2014.

Nearly 400,000 YouView boxes had been sold as of the end of March this year, mainly through free bundles offered by telcos BT and TalkTalk.

TalkTalk reported in July that 160,000 new TV subscribers had signed up to its YouView service between March and June, with June its strongest month for TV sales.

BT said it had added 23,000 subscribers over the same period, with most users of its BT Vision box. BT’s service will soon be rebranded as BT TV, as BT’s sports channels launch on 1 August require upgraded boxes.

YouView’s shareholders are reportedly interested in bringing in other content providers, as well as supplementing recently adding smaller channels like Dave and adult channel Television X to its catch-up options.

The FT said the shareholder meetings had been friendly, in contrast to stormy scenes at the start of the partnership, when the product was running two years behind schedule and over budget.

The partnership is still looking for a chairman, following the departure of Lord Sugar after a boardroom bust-up last year.

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