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BT to offer 'watch-when-you-like' TV


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BT moved further from its traditional role as a telecoms provider today by announcing plans to offer a set-top box that will allow UK viewers to replay their favourite TV programmes.

The group’s “catch-up” TV service will let people instantly watch any programmes broadcast during the previous week without the need to record them.

It is part of a wider service that will include a library of films and music and a range of digital TV channels with no monthly subscription fee.

BT’s “next-generation” services, to be rolled out from next summer, are part of its drive to gain a bigger share of the lucrative broadband market.

The service will initially be offered just to BT’s two million broadband customers but could later be rolled out to other users.

Ian Livingston, head of BT Retail, said: “No longer will BT customers be reliant on TV schedules.

"From next year, they will be able to watch what they like when they like.”

He added: “Our catch-up TV offering will also allow people to watch programmes they may have missed but wanted to see.”

Customers will pay an initial fee for their set-top box, provided through a partnership with electronics firm Philips, and will pay for certain films or certain programmes while others will be free.

BT gave no price for the service, which will also offer viewer participation, shopping and online games.

The news comes amid fear of competition in the television market. Last week broadcaster BSkyB went head-to-head with BT and cable operators in the market for broadband by agreeing a £211m (€310.5m) takeover of telecoms firm Easynet.

Source: Breaking News