Murdoch unveils Sky VOD plan, warns BT

James Murdoch

BSkyB CEO James Murdoch has outlined plans for video-on-demand (VOD) services delivered via satellite to subscribers' set-top boxes, and via broadband. Murdoch told the Royal Television Society's London conference yesterday that Sky's VOD services would be available between 2007 and 2008.

Murdoch said he relished the chance to return Sky "to our roots as a challenger as we go up against the big beasts of the telecoms industry, where the incumbents are BT and the cable industry", and he warned BT that its TV-via-internet service, BT Vision, would end up "in a very scary place" if it gave programming away.

"Our competitor set is evolving and continues to evolve," said Murdoch.

Sky would find it easier to compete on price in the telecommunications industry than BT would find it to compete on television content. "If BT wants to just give away all of the expensive programming out there, that ends in a very scary place for them," said Murdoch.

BT Vision is due to launch this autumn, offering broadcast television channels via a set-top box with Freeview receiver and digital TV recorder, and, via broadband, access to a wide range of on-demand programmes from content partners that include BBC Worldwide, HIT Entertainment, Nelvana, Paramount, Warner Music Group, National Geographic and the Cartoon Network.

Meanwhile BT this week unveiled a partnership with the US-based Podshow Network, creating a UK version called BT PodShow.

The web site offers amateur content producers the chance to upload videos to a site, with the best content probably finding its way to the BT Vision service.

Lovelace Consulting  |  15.09.2006

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