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BBC tunes into BT's IPTV service

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BT's broadband TV service isn't due to be switched on until next autumn but already the UK's dominant fixed line telco is making a song and dance about hooking up with three content partners.

The telco has signed up BBC Worldwide, Paramount and Warner Music Group enabling punters to access film, music and TV programmes "on demand" as it looks to enter the converged world of telecoms and entertainment.

Once up and running, it will be looking to compete with giant satellite broadcaster Sky (which is buying broadband operator Easynet) and merging cablecos NTL and Telewest, which already offer a triple play of broadband, TV and phone.

BT is due to begin trialling its broadband TV service from next spring ahead of a full commercial launch in the autumn. It will be available to BT broadband customers without subscription and include on-demand and pay-per-view options. A Personal Video Recorder (PVR) capable of storing up to 80 hours of programming is also bolted on to the service which provides access to more than 30 digital terrestrial TV channels.

Separately, BT also announced today that it expects its customer-facing retail arm to make cost savings of up to £500m over three years by concentrating more on online sales, service and billing while introducing a "range of next generation services for customers which will help transform how they communicate, are entertained and manage their lives".

Said BT Retail boss Ian Livingston: "We will make life simpler and better for our customers. Not only will we be offering them great value communications which enhance their life, but we will be able to offer individual customers the kinds of services which are tailored to their needs." ®

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