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Delayed UK YouView Broadband TV Launch Hints at Exclusive ISP Content

Thursday, Apr 19th, 2012 (8:28 am) - Score 1,315

The YouView (Project Canvas) IPTV system, a subscription free broadband internet based video-on-demand and catch-up TV service that will be used / bundled by a number of big ISPs (e.g. BT, TalkTalk etc.), looks increasingly likely to miss their launch window of “early 2012” and might not surface until sometime in Q3-2012.

Ian Maude, an analyst for Enders Analysis, recently told the FT that he didn’t expect the service to arrive in time for the 2012 London Olympic Games (Begins 27th July 2012) because of “bureaucratic treacle” created by “a lot of shareholders [with] differing interests to please“. YouView is a Joint Venture project between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Channel 5 (Five).

ISPreview.co.uk did a little digging into yesterdays written evidence summary for the House of Lords Select Committee Inquiry into the UK governments superfast broadband strategy, which revealed an interesting quote from TalkTalk about the expected launch of its related TV service.

TalkTalks TV Service Launch Plans (Select Committee Inquiry)

TalkTalk and TV. TalkTalk is one of seven partners behind YouView, the new IPTV service, along with the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Arqiva and Five. TalkTalk will launch YouView into UK homes in summer 2012.

TalkTalk now refers to a “summer 2012” launch above, which is more specific than their previously vague references to the first half of calendar year 2012. Summer 2012 runs into Q3-2012, which could no longer be classified as “early 2012“, unless they make it out of the gate before 1st July.

Separately YouView has recently completed a second consultation for its User Interface (UI) and Search Policy, which proposes to make one particularly special change to the terms that confirms how ISPs are likely to benefit from exclusive content.

YouView’s UI and Search Policy Proposal

These ISPs’ “vertical” customers would expect to see any on demand content service provided by their ISP displayed reasonably prominently in the YouView UI. We believe that the basis for this expectation derives from the fact that there will be a direct commercial relationship between those “vertical” customers and their chosen ISP. The convenience element relates to the fact that those customers would benefit from access specifically to content provided by their ISP and a degree of prominence for that content would enhance their experience of YouView.

It should be noted that since there is a one for one relationship between a customer and an ISP in this “vertical” market (ie a customer will only be a customer of one ISP), then this prominence could only ever apply to a single ISP per YouView “vertical” customer.

The change refers specifically to on demand content services delivered from broadband ISPs who are affiliated to YouView by virtue of signing YouView’s Affiliate ISP Agreement (e.g. BT, TalkTalk). That single-issue consultation finished on 30th March 2012.

At this stage we still don’t have the final details of what customers can actually expect to recieve or how much it will cost (YouView’s set-top-box is expected to be between £100-£20,0 depending upon features), although it’s long been known that merely rehashing Freeview and tacking-on iPlayer style video streaming content from the major TV broadcasters wouldn’t be enough (UK people can already get that).

Meanwhile Sky (Sky Broadband) announced its own new internet TV (video streaming) service – NOW TV, which is also due to launch this “summer 2012“, and aims to deliver access to Sky’s content via a “wide range of broadband-connected devices” (full summary). At first this will only include movies.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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