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BT in Talks with the BBC and TalkTalk to Buy YouView (IPTV Platform)

Friday, September 23rd, 2016 (1:35 pm) - Score 2,549
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BT are rumoured to be mooting the acquisition of broadband based Video-on-Demand and Catch-Up TV (IPTV) platform, YouView, which underpins both their Pay TV service and that of several other ISPs (TalkTalk, JT etc.). A figure of around £60m is currently being mooted (up from a starting offer of £20m).

YouView originally started life as a Joint Venture project between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, TalkTalk, Arqiva and Channel 5 (Five). The platform was designed to be the next step beyond Freeview (the Free-to-air digital terrestrial television service), although in the end the only real takers for it were Pay TV customers from BT and TalkTalk.

Since then Freeview has gone on to separately develop their own Internet-connected Freeview Play service, which is currently being added to a lot of new TV’s and set-top-box devices. But that has left a big question mark to hang over the fate of YouView.

On the one side BT are keen to foster stronger development of YouView in order to keep up with the enhancements being offered by rivals Sky (Sky Broadband) and Virgin Media. On the other hand TalkTalk will sell, but they have reservations about losing control of their Pay TV platform to BT without some form of commitment towards future support.

Meanwhile the BBC would probably be happy to be shot of YouView, but they probably don’t want it to seem like they just spent the past few years’ subsidising the creation of a platform for BT with tax payers’ money. According to The Telegraph, most of YouView’s shareholders are interested in doing a deal, so it’s just a question of what that looks like and if the BBC or TalkTalk agree.

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Mark Jackson
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Avatar Lee Burton

    BT need to get their broadband network in order before spending cash on buying other businesses. BTs broadband at peak times will not support a tv package at my home, and a lot more customers seem to be suffering the same issue.

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