O2 loses the plot over IPTV

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Does anyone else think that mobile companies launching home TV services is a boring story? Various news outlets are reporting today that O2 plans to go head-to-head with rival operator Orange and launch its own IPTV service. A UK trial looms after O2 had a “successful” rollout with a 50 channel service to a whopping 70,000 customers in that hotbed of media, the Czech Republic the last year. O2 bought internet provider Be last year, which has a fast IP network and already has deals with media companies including Warner Bros, HBO and Paramount. But there is the small matter of BT, Sky and Virgin Media to contend with as well as Orange. Plus, consider this: O2 has the rights to the national ice hockey league, the Czech Republic’s favourite sport. The chances of it securing quality football rights in the UK against Sky or BT or Virgin? None.

To me, O2 is throwing money away on TV. TV is not a growth market, the Internet and mobile is. So why don’t they throw all of the investment they plan to put into this white elephant into really powering ahead in mobile? They already exclusively sell the greatest mobile Web browser known to mankind, the one inside the iPhone. One way of leveraging this advantage is to start funding startups to create iPhone applications. They could create an amazing eco-system to support the already significant investment they’ve put into the iPhone.

But no, all we’ll get out of O2 next year is another route to TV shows from which we are increasingly switching off. Good move.

  • http://thedeplorableword.net/ Tom

    Yes, I don’t get it either. Getting someone to switch there tellybox is probably the hardest conversion of all, since all broadband equipment is pretty much standard I could switch my Broadband from BT to Orange to whovever without too much hassle. If there is a cost or speed benefit it’s a no-brainer.

    But to getting me to install and learn how to use a new tellybox, a new remote and new set of channel numbers? and all for what? the promise of exclusive content? Unless this box does something interesting (Joost would be pretty nice) then I don’t see it either, why bother with IPTV?

  • ceedee

    I’ve become so bored by most broadcast tv in the UK that I’ve cancelled my cable tv service.
    Downloading what *I* want to watch (from UK, US, Canadian, Australian tv stations), when I have the time and inclination, suits my lifestyle.
    Maybe some smart company will figure out a way to add a few adverts one day?

    Isn’t broadcast TV rather Media1.0 anyway?

  • Kevin

    Mike, On the one hand I completely agree, no one needs more of last centuries interupt driven ad sponsored broadcast TV delivering the viewer as product to the advertiser from which we all mute and ffwd over the advertising. Being both a BE and Sky customer, the later is a household ‘content’ decision, personally only the pgrm guide and remote pgmg is interesting. http://mysky.sky.com/portal/site/skycom/skyproducts/remoterecord
    Yes they should build the ‘content apps’ of the mobile internet future, but hey telcos will be telcos.

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