Joseph O'Halloran | 29-07-2013
With just over six months to go before their original partnership agreement expires, the founders of the YouView project have reportedly agreed on an expansion of their service.
The timing of this consensus, as reported in the Financial Times (FT), could not be more timely given the launch of the £9.99 NOW TV box by BSkyB, which allows viewers to purchase a day pass to content including Sky Sports and Sky Movies as well as the BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, BBC News App and Sky News.
In other words, the service will offer non-subscription TV audiences in the UK, thought to measure around 15 million homes, more or less the same on-demand programmes from leading TV services as does YouView. It has to be stressed that YouView is accessed from retail boxes selling for around £300 or through contracts with ISPs BT and TalkTalk.
The FT reported that discussions between the founding partners of the non-subscription on-demand and catch-up service — such as the BBC, ITV, BT, TalkTalk, Arqiva, Channel 4 and Channel 5 — are centred on rebooting YouView so that it can be accessed from a range of connected devices, including TV sets, smartphones and tablets. Noticeably from the get-go the new NOW TV box is already available on PCs, Mac, iPhone, iPad, selected Android smartphones and tablets, Xbox, PS3, YouView and Roku.
“The multi-device strategy such as connected TVs is important in particular to the broadcasters,” the FT quoted a person familiar with the talks. “It has started as a TV set-top box but will evolve into a much bigger platform for us all to use”. The source also floated the idea that some partners were keen on bolstering the YouView catch-up TV content bouquet.