BT offers £299 YouView box for free

Editor | 21-09-2012

In a move that could seriously undermine the service’s still very nascent retail channel, BT is to offer a free YouView box to new customers of its Infinity high speed broadband service.
Almost three years after it was first proposed as an alternative to subscription TV in the UK, the YouView non-subscription catch-up TV and VOD service launched in the UK in July 2012.
Launched by Chairman Lord Alan Sugar, YouView was initially made available via a standalone Humax-made set top box selling for £299 and on offer at leading UK retail chains including John Lewis, Curry’s, Comet, Argos, Amazon, Richer Sounds and the Euronics group. At the launch, YouView partners and network service providers BT and TalkTalk said that they would announce their own packages from which they would introduce additional content and services. Only a few days ago, BT announced that it had chosen Humax to cover set top box gaps in it YouView offering.
Yet just as Gary Barlow and Benedict Cumberbatch are lined up to feature in a £10 million advertising campaign for the retail offering, BT will now offer a free YouView set top box with no TV subscription to those who sign up for BT Infinity/BT Broadband and BT Vision Essential with a 12 month minimum term. The package will offer more than 100 digital TV and radio channels; seven day catch-up TV across all the channels from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5; on-demand content from BBC iPlayer, ITV player, 4OD, Demand5, Milkshake and NowTV with more content providers on the way; and access to BT Vision, which BT claims is the largest library of video on-demand on YouView.

Commented Alex Green, director TV, BT Retail: “This is a fantastic offer. Customers will now be able to enjoy BT’s super-fast fibre broadband with a YouView box and TV Essential pack all for £18 per month. With YouView from BT not only can customers experience a great new way to watch TV, they will also be able to access a huge range of on-demand content from BT Vision. The launch of YouView from BT is another piece of exciting news about BT’s plans for TV.”