Company boss confirms plans to launch the IPTV service “by the end of the year”. It will allow viewers not on the Virgin Media cable network to access TV services from the company.
Virgin Media O2 Chief Executive Lutz Schueler told delegates at the Royal Television Society’s Cambridge Convention that the IPTV service would target younger audiences. These tend to be held back by the need to have cable installed and to commit to a lengthy contract.
The service will complement VMO2’s existing pay TV service, in a similar manner to Sky’s NOW (TV) service. Details of the type of receiver that the service will use and its pricing are yet to be announced. However it was confirmed that the service will carry Virgin Media branding, rather than O2. There are already O2-branded IPTV services in the Czech Republic and Germany.
Virgin Media O2 was created this summer through a new 50:50 joint venture between Liberty Global and Telefonica. Both companies originally wanted to offload their UK businesses but failed to find a buyer.
Sky is also planning to launch a new internet based TV service in the UK to sit alongside NOW. The service aims to give viewers without a satellite dish access to premium features not included with NOW. Sky’s service is also expected to soft launch in the coming weeks, following the launch of a similar product in Austria, Germany and Italy.