Online TV startup links with ISP

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Dave Sifry's State of the blogosphere

Given the news of BT buying PlusNet, it’s interesting to note that another small rival to BT in the UK broadband market is freedom2surf. With BT attempting to enter the TV market with BT Fusion Vision (at least, some time this century possibly), could F2S offer another tasty morsel for the giant?

Because, aside from the usual ISP offerings, F2S has just become the first ISP to sign a partnership with IPTV provider Aggregator.tv. This new London-based start-up offers on-demand television over broadband – mainly niche, special interest programmes, such as that offered by its Mo TV portal for Russian expatriates living in the UK. (We did say niche).

The idea is that Aggregator services will create a new UK pay-TV platform that will serve multiple devices including PCs and hybrid set-top boxes. It is going to try to build ‘niche TV communities’ via the PC, which will be aggregated under a consolidated brand when its Freeview/TV over broadband (TVoBB) set-top box is launched in the UK in early 2007.

In a press statement accompanying this announcement Martin Goswami, co-founder and CEO of Aggregator, said: “The changing television landscape has brought non-traditional players into the digital media industry, offering specialist content that is in tune with customers needs.”

Is this the same Martin Goswami who was formerly commercial director at BSkyB? Indeed it is. Perhaps he thought Sky is going to come under pressure from niche broadband channels? I’d say he’d be right.

And, punters, what else does Aggregator.tv have in common with interesting Web/TV plays appearing online these days? We give you Paul Cleghorn, formerly of Aggregator.tv, now co-founder of Tape It Off The Internet.

It’s a small world.

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