BT Retail launches YouView from BT

14 November 2012


<i>BTwatch Report #238</i> <b>Extract</b>


BT Retail launches YouView from BT

BT Retail launched YouView from BT, its branded version of the new Internet Protocol television (IPTV) platform. The new service sees the telco progressing its pay-TV strategy, but the launch does not appear to be as comprehensive in terms of content, or distinctive in terms of branding, as BT wished.

The hardware being provided by the company is strikingly free of BT branding, with the telco being forced to issue set-top boxes (STB) from vendor Humax, rather than its planned branded devices from Pace, which were not ready for launch (BTwatch, #237). Despite this, BT is able to point to the fact it is distributing equipment with a retail value of £299, which has received broadly positive reviews since its launch in the summer (BTwatch, #234). The upcoming YouView from BT STBs from Pace are expected to include branding and a remote control with a dedicated BT Vision button.

To receive the YouView equipment, customers must be a BT Broadband or BT Infinity subscriber, and sign for a BT Vision package, with prices from £4-per-month (increasing to £5-per-month from January 2013). The basic BT Vision TV Essentials package features additional charges from £0.50 for viewing on-demand content, while the TV Unlimited package offers free access to BT content (except premium on-demand movies) for £12.50-per-month.

The YouView device recognises when it is connected to a BT Retail internet connection, which prompts it to include a BT Vision portal in its menu. Should the customer choose to leave BT after expiration of their contract, the equipment does not need to be returned, and will continue to work without access to the BT Vision portal.

The YouView platform offers all Freeview channels, including those broadcast in high-definition (HD). Catch-up television services from the BBC, Channel Four, Channel 5, and ITV are integrated on the platform. On-demand content can be found on the BT Vision portal, with access to complete television series and movies in line with the BT Vision subscription taken up.

The BT Vision portal also includes pay-per-view options, with BT claiming to be offering movies on-demand at the same time they are released on DVD and become available on BSkyB’s pay-per-view service. Standard definition (SD) and HD versions are available; and watching HD movies is said to entail around a 90-second wait for background downloading. SD movies cost £3.50 for 48-hour access, and HD films cost £4.50 for the same period. BT also offers music videos on-demand, with the option of creating playlists from the 1, 500 videos on offer.

Within YouView there is also a portal for Now TV, the new service from BSkyB that offers access to the satellite company’s movie channels for a standard rate of £15-per-month with no long-term contract.

Vision days may be numbered, but platform confusion remains

Many of the services included in the BT Vision offering are replicated, and generally outperformed by similar services in YouView; and the requirement for a BT Vision subscription appears largely a mechanism to tie users to BT, rather than offer significant additional services.

The principle difficulty BT appears to have faced with the YouView launch is that it has not been able to integrate its premium pay-TV content into the offering. Should customers wish to subscribe to Sky Sports from BT Retail, for example, they will have to use the BT Vision service and its Vision 2.0 set-top box, which, in terms of catch-up television and other content, lags behind YouView. BT is planning to integrate the two services by the end of 2013, which is likely to become a matter of increasing urgency.

This means that, at a time when the pay-TV market can be seen to be opening up, and the dominant players, BSkyB and Virgin Media, are more vulnerable than in the past, BT is unable to offer all the strongest elements of its pay-TV offering in one service. Altnet TalkTalk’s YouView service has attractive options on Sky Sports with just a single month subscription period giving its offering an edge on BT in terms of pay-TV.

With not all content available in one place, and a set-top box that is not customised to closely link the platform to the telco, the impression given is that the YouView launch is not all that BT would have hoped. However, the telco is in pay-TV for the long term, and a unified product should arrive prior to the commencement of its contract to broadcast Premier League soccer and English Premiership rugby from September 2013. If the teething problems and brand confusion are not resolved by then, they are likely to prove more difficult challenges.

[Further reference: Get YouView from BT before everyone else -- BT, September 2012; YouView by BT pictures and hands-on -- pocket-lint.com, 18 October-November 2012.]


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About BTwatch

Report: #238
Covering: October-November 2012
Published: November 2012
Next report: December 2012

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<b>Contents</b>


BTwatch Report #238 contents

1 Executive brief

4 Group

4 Q2/H1 FY12-13 results
4 BT lowers guidance, raises dividend on continued cuts
4 H1 problems make improving trend too great a mountain to climb in H2
4 Profit creeps up as cost reductions continue
5 Pension
5 Pension deficit rises again
5 BT Group financial highlights, Q2 and H1 FY12-13
5 Regulatory decisions hit revenue hard, Global Services struggles continue
6 Employment
6 Plethora of regulatory decisions offering little good news for BT
6 Need for investment likely to curb further dividend rises
7 Financial reports
7 Cash flow troubles across BT, but BT GS hit hardest
7 BT Group, performance by unit, Q2 FY12-13
8 BT Fleet
8 Openreach punching above weight, glimmers of hope at Wholesale
8 BT Group, performance by unit, H1 FY12-13
9 Managed solutions’ drag highlights growth challenge
10 BT Group, revenue by product type, Q2 and H1 FY12-13
11 Payments to operators still driving cost savings
11 Global Services expected to reach efficiency levels of other divisions
11 BT Group, operating costs, Q2 and H1 FY12-13
12 Capex increases on fibre spend and payment timings
12 BT Group, capital expenditure, Q2 and H1 FY12-13
14 KPIs: copper falls back as fibre numbers treble
14 BT may have lost consumer copper line majority
14 BT Group, KPIs, Q2 and H1 FY12-13
14 Fibre picks up as broadband growth slows
15 BT Group, Broadband KPIs, Q2 FY12-13
15 Competitors
15 Vodafone plays down threat of C&WW deal to BT
16 Backhaul business still on the table for BT
17 MVNO deal — BT may not wish to partner “UK’s only integrated operator”
18 Colao approach to BT sails close to over-familiarity
18 M2M competition rising
19 Digital Britain
19 BT and Virgin challenge Birmingham fibre network plans
20 Devon and Somerset name BT as preferred fibre bidder
21 BT accused of overcharging for rural fibre rollout
21 Extra cost of rural rollout questioned
22 Kiely loses post on shared information
22 Criticisms merit consideration, but do not present full picture
23 PAC to look closely at BDUK process, but time limited
23 BT dismisses claims as “ludicrous”
24 EC to approve BDUK process
24 Lancashire anticipating positive decision
25 Suppliers
25 BT Mobile extends 20:20 Mobile device contract
25 Suppliers
25 Government reviewing BT’s Huawei relationship
26 Suspicion of unfair competition may be core of wariness
27 People
27 People movement highlights
29 Broadband

29 BT Retail

29 Q2/H1 FY12-13 results
29 BT Retail cuts continue but needs investment for growth
29 BT Retail, financial highlights, Q2 and H1 FY12-13
30 Digital Content
30 BT still growing broadband share, but pot not getting much bigger
30 Broadband customer numbers (’000), Q2 FY12-13
30 Calls and lines, customer numbers (’000), Q2 FY12-13
30 TV shows there is potential for Retail growth…
31 Pay-TV, customer numbers (’000), Q2 FY12-13
31 …but BT needs to find another gear
32 Television services
32 BT looks at sub-licensing rugby rights
32 Television services
32 Retail launches YouView from BT
33 Vision days may be numbered, but platform confusion remains
33 Green named Head of BT sport channel
34 OnLive
34 OnLive sold out of administration
34 Production partner process continues as ITV withdraws
34 BT signs further rights deals for sport channel
35 Pricing and Tariffs
35 Content bulking up comes as ESPN exit rumours continue
35 BT football bidding hits Sky budgets
36 Plusnet
36 Plusnet reveals improved profit and revenue
36 BT Business
36 BT iNet recruits new staff; sets up new cloud practice
37 BT trumpets role in national football centre
39 Awards and accreditations

39 BT Global Services

39 Q2/H1 FY12-13 results
39 Global Services sets sights on another turnaround
39 BT Global Services, financial highlights, Q2 FY12-13 and H1 FY12-13
40 Limp order book warns of trouble ahead
40 Kelly replacement Alvarez a better fit for the BT mould
41 Contracts
41 Contracts
41 BT wins BAT contract
41 BT deploys UC for hubergroup
42 Public sector contracts
42 BT wins ProRail data centre contract
42 Public sector contracts
42 BT wins £120m PSN contract in Surrey and Berkshire
43 Financial services
43 Further PSN success
43 £300m Cornwall deal put on hold
44 Scottish Public Audit Committee probes BT deal
45 BT International: Americas
45 BT selects Genband for Argentinean IP network
45 Products and services
45 BT adds cloud capabilities to BT Trace
46 BT adds Aspera’s fasp to Life Sciences R&D offering
47 BT upgrades BT One
48 Integration news comes as new CEO settles in

50 BT Wholesale

50 Q2/H1 FY12-13 results
50 Wholesale making modest steps towards recovery
50 BT Wholesale, financial highlights, Q2 and H1 FY12-13
50 More evidence of growing relationship with EE
51 Mobile Ethernet Access and IP Exchange grow in popularity
51 Products and services
51 BT opens Singapore GIPX hub
52 Contracts
52 EE to launch fibre broadband with BT
53 Closer links to EE could pave way for new BT MVNO

54 Openreach

54 Q2/H1 FY12-13 results
54 Openreach continues to meet expectations
54 Weather slows provisioning, but nothing holds back fibre
54 Openreach, financial highlights, Q2 and H1 FY12-13
55 Fibre
55 Openreach trims FTTP portfolio
55 Fibre
55 Openreach brings forward fibre rollout schedule
56 TalkTalk questions competition in fibre market
57 TalkTalk appears set to accept Openreach fibre dominance
58 Operations
58 Openreach recruits more ex-military staff
58 Operations
58 Openreach said to be struggling with business demand
59 Operations
59 Openreach recruits more ex-military staff cont’d
59 Regulatory pricing
59 CC to investigate Ofcom’s wholesale pricing ruling
59 Ofcom LLU and WLR charge controls

60 Index


<b>Index</b>


BTwatch Report #238 index

A

Abbey Telecom, 58
All3Medias, 34
Aspera, 46
AT&T, 34
Avaya, Inc., 47
Aviva, 32, 35

B

Barclays, 7, 34
- – Barclays Capital, 7
Berkshire County Council, 42
Boxnation, 33
British American Tobacco, 40, 41
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), 32
British Phonographic Industry, 30
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 44, 55, 57
BSkyB, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 59
- – Now TV, 32
- – Sky Sports, 30, 32, 33, 35
BT Group, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 30, 34, 36, 43, 45, 54, 55, 57, 58
- – BT Fleet Partners, 8
- – BT Global Services, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 18, 25, 27, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 51
- – BT Advise, 41, 42, 47, 48
- – BT Americas, 27
- – BT Benelux, 42
- – BT Connect, 46
- – BT for Life Sciences, 46
- – BT Germany, 41
- – BT iNet, 36
- – BT International, 45
- – BT One, 39, 41, 42, 47, 48
- – BT One Voice, 47
- – BT Radianz, 43
- – BT Trace, 45
- – MeetMe, 47
- – Spain, 11, 39, 47, 48
- – Unified Communications and Collaboration (UCC), 41
- – BT Pension Scheme, 5
- – BT Retail, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 40, 52, 55, 56, 59
- – BT Basic, 35
- – BT Broadband, 32
- – BT Business, 18, 25, 29, 36, 37
- – BT Business Direct, 36
- – BT Consumer, 14
- – BT Engage IT, 29, 36
- – BT Infinity, 14, 29, 32, 56
- – BT Ireland, 29
- – BT Local Government, 42
- – BT Northern Ireland, 14
- – BT Vision, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35
- – BT Vision 2.0, 33
- – BT Wi-Fi, 37
- – DABS, 36
- – Direct Debit, 35
- – Global Internet, 51
- – OnLive, 34
- – Plusnet, 9, 14, 30, 36
- – Unlimited Anytime Plan, 35
- – BT Wholesale, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 40, 45, 50, 51, 52, 53, 59
- – IP Exchange, 51, 52
- – Mobile Ethernet Access, 51
- – Wholesale Broadband Connect, 12
- – Executives
- – Alvarez, Luis, 11, 39, 47, 48
- – Best, Grant, 33
- – Best, Steve, 52
- – Boustridge, Michael, 27
- – Bowen, Dave, 8
- – Burger, Bas, 46
- – Butsana-Sita, Beatriz, 51
- – Chanmugam, Tony, 11, 40
- – Fitz, Daniel, 27
- – Garfield, Olivia, 56, 58
- – Green, Simon, 33, 34
- – Hageman, Edwin, 42
- – Lereuth, Karsten, 41
- – Livingston, Ian, 6, 9, 11, 17, 18, 31, 40, 55, 58
- – McCann, Kim, 41, 48
- – Parker, Andrew, 27
- – Pemberton, Neil, 36
- – Rogers, Neil, 43
- – Stanton, Ray, 48
- – Thornhill, John, 36
- – Watson, Marc, 33, 34
- – Williamson, Mark, 27
- – Wolf, James, 36
- – Ex-executives
- – Kelly, Jeff, 11, 39, 40, 48
- – Openreach, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 21, 29, 52, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59
- – ISDN30, 14
- – Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA), 21

C

Carphone Warehouse, 57
Cisco Systems, Inc., 47, 48
Competition Appeals Tribunal, 5
Competition Appeal Tribunal, 59
Competition Commission, 24, 59
Computer Sciences Corp, 43
Cornwall Council, 43, 44

D

Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization Europe, 41
Department for Culture, Media and Sport
- – BDUK, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 44, 55
Deutsche Telekom, 50
- – T-Mobile, 52
- – UK, 52
Devon County Council, 20
Digital Britain, 19
Dolby Laboratories, Inc., 47
DTV Services
- – Freeview, 31, 32

E

EE (Orange UK, T-Mobile UK), 30, 50, 51, 52, 53, 59
e-skills UK, 6
European Rugby Cup
- – Heineken Cup, 32, 35
European Union, 21, 24, 26
- – European Commission, 19, 24
- – European Regional Development Fund, 24
Everything Everywhere (Orange UK, T-Mobile UK)
- – MBNL, 53

F

Federation of Communications Services, 58
Football Association, 37
- – Premier League, 32, 33, 34, 35
- – St George’s Park, 37
France Télécom, 50
- – Orange, 52
Frost and Sullivan, 39, 48
Fujitsu, 20, 22, 57

G

Gartner Group, 44
Genband, 45

H

High Court, 30
House of Commons
- – Public Accounts Committee, 23
HTC, 25, 34
Huawei Technologies, 25, 26, 56
hubergroup, 41
Humax, 32
Hutchison Whampoa
- – Three Group
- – Three UK, 53

I

IAS 19, 5
IMG Worldwide, 34
ITV, 32, 34

L

Lancashire County Council, 24

M

Microsoft, 47
- – Lync, 41, 47, 48
Ministry of Defence, 41, 58, 59
Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL), 53
mobile ID, 42

N

National Audit Office, 23
National Grid plc, 8
National Health Service (NHS, UK), 23, 42, 43
National Skills Academy, 6
NATO, 41
Newzbin2, 30
Nokia, 25
Norfolk County Council, 43
North One Television, 34
Northumberland County Council, 43

O

Ofcom, 6, 21, 52, 56, 57, 59
- – Light User Scheme
- – BT Basic, 35
- – LLU, 14, 15, 59
- – Physical infrastructure access (PIA), 21
- – Wholesale Line Rental, 59
Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (UK), 58
OnLive, Inc., 34
Oriel Securities, 7

P

Pace Micro Technology, 32
Plymouth City Council, 20
Premiership Rugby, 32, 35
ProRail, 42
Public Services Network (PSN), 42

R

Registers of Scotland, 44
Right Management, 58
Riverbed, 27

S

Samsung, 25
Scottish Parliament, 44
Setanta, 33
Sky Talk, 29
SmartReach (BT, Arqiva, Detica), 18
Sony, 25
South Tyneside Council, 42
Sunset + Vine, 34
Surrey County Council, 42, 43

T

TalkTalk Telecom Group plc, 30, 33, 56, 57, 59
- – Harding, Dido, 56
Technology
- – ADSL, 52
- – Broadband, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 42, 50, 52, 53, 55, 56, 57, 59
- – DSL, 15
- – Ethernet, 6, 12, 52, 53, 54
- – Fibre, 6, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 42, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59
- – Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC), 52
- – Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP), 12, 29, 55
- – HD, 32, 34
- – ICT, 44
- – IP, 32, 37, 41, 42, 45, 47, 51, 52
- – IPTV, 32
- – ISDN, 30, 37
- – LLU, 9, 14, 18, 52
- – LTE, 50
- – M2M, 18
- – Next-generation access (NGA), 23
- – R&D, 46
- – Telepresence, 39, 47, 48
- – Unified Communications, 36, 39, 41, 42, 46, 47, 48
- – VoIP, 41, 51
Telefónica, 16, 30
- – Telefónica Europe, 16, 18
- – BE, 18
- – UK, 16, 18
The Pirate Bay, 30
Thus, 21
TNT, 45
Torbay Council, 20
Twitter, 35

U

UK Government, 42

V

Virgin Media, 19, 30, 31, 33, 53
Vodafone, 9, 15, 16, 17, 18, 25, 51, 53
- – Cable&Wireless Worldwide, 15, 16, 17, 53
- – UK, 9, 16

W

Walt Disney Company, The, 35
- – ESPN, 35

Y

YouView, 31, 32, 33, 57

Z

ZTE, 25, 26


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