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BTOpenworld underlined its credentials as a content business today by announcing that it is to create the UK's first broadband sports network.

BT's mass-market Internet business has jumped into bed with ukbetting plc, Sportev Ltd and InTheBox Media to launch the service, called Sportal OnDemand.

Subscription to the service costs from £4.99 a month and is available to all UK broadband users except AOL UK. The reason, according to BTOpenworld, is because AOL UK's broadband users don't have UK IP addresses.

A spokesman for AOL UK shrugged off the snub saying that AOL already provides video sports coverage, including rugby and soccer, for its broadband subscribers as part of the ISP's normal monthly subscription.

The Sportal OnDemand service should give punters the chance to watch sports events, highlights, interviews etc plus a selection of programmes made specially for broadband.

As well as the monthly subscription package, there will also be pay-per-view options giving punters the chance to access the service for 24 hours for £1.99.

BTOpenworld's decision to provide more broadband-specific content is a positive move. In a report published by the Broadband Stakeholders Group (BSG) earlier this week said that 'must have' content would "increase the value for users and therefore their willingness to pay for broadband access". ®

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