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Freeserve throws punch in Net fight scene

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Freeserve is to test the water to see if Net users are prepared to pay small amounts of cash to watch premium-rated broadcast content on the Web.

Britain's biggest French ISP is to run a pay-per-view trial in the run-up to the Lennox Lewis versus Hasim Rahman world title fight in South Africa on 22 April.

For £1 (plus VAT) a day, punters will be able to see clips of Lewis sparring with his other fighters in the run-up to the heavyweight bout. They'll see the boxer training for his showdown plus get to see interviews with Lewis and pictures of him meeting fight-loving celebs including Nelson Mandela.

Punters keen to follow the build-up will pay for the service either via their Vodafone mobile phone with the cost added to their bills.

Non-Vodafone customers can dial a premium rate phone line to make their micropayment.

In both cases fight-lovers will receive a code which will enable them to view the content online.

According to Le Freeswerve, today's announcement represents the first opportunity for consumers to view low-priced online narrowband content on a genuine pay-to-view basis.

Coverage of the build-up to the fight begins on April 12. ®

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