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BT hires kids' favourites for IPTV service

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BT has signed up kiddies' favourites Bob the Builder and Pingu to help plug its yet to be launched on-demand broadband TV service.

HIT Entertainment (behind Bob, Pingu and Thomas the Tank Engine, to name but a few), Nelvana (Beyblade) and the National Geographic Channel are the latest firms to ink content deals with BT ahead of the launch of its internet TV (IPTV) service in the autumn.

Last month telco revealed it had signed up BBC Worldwide, Paramount and Warner Music Group in deals to enable punters to access film, music and TV programmes "on demand".

According to today's announcement, there are yet more content deals to come as BT prepares to enter the converged world of telecoms and entertainment.

Said BT's top TV chap Dan Marks: "We are building a fantastic entertainment offering for all the family by partnering with the best. Any service of this kind is only as good as the content it offers, which is why we have swiftly signed these significant entertainment deals.

"Significantly, our service will be offered nationwide and not restricted to metropolitan areas, and customers will not be required to commit to a monthly subscription."

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.

Last week Sky unveiled details of its new video-on-demand (VoD) content service which gives punters access to sport and movies via a broadband connection.

Just as BT (a telco) is moving into TV content, Sky (a TV service) is moving into telecoms. Following its £211m acquisition of broadband ISP Easynet Sky plans to launch its own high-speed internet access service later in the year. ®

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