British Telecom, Endemol team up for next-generation TV

MUMBAI: British Telecom (BT) has inked a deal with Endemol to license programming and develop cutting-edge interactive content for its next-generation TV offering.

Endemol will work with BT to deliver its distinctive and high-quality programming and interactive content, tailor-made for BT's next- generation TV service. The two companies intend to build on Endemol’s experience at the forefront of developing interactive TV formats.

This agreement builds on the content deals already announced with companies including BBC Worldwide, Paramount and Warner Music Group, National Geographic Channel and with kids’ TV programming leaders Hit Entertainment and Nelvana.

BT will unveil further big name deals this year as it builds to a launch of the service later this year.

Customers of the service will be able to choose from a huge range of on-demand film, music and television programming as well as a groundbreaking interactive and communications service, all available through their TV sets.

The service will be a world-first, combining access to digital-terrestrial channels through the aerial with broadband-powered video on demand. This unique combination, delivered on a software platform powered by Microsoft and through a set-top box made by leading manufacturer Philips, will allow customers choice, control and convenience. Unlike other services, there will be no mandatory monthly subscriptions.

Endemol UK director digital media Peter Cowley said, "This deal with BT underlines our commitment to remaining at the forefront of digital media and developing new ways of entertaining people."

BT Retail chief executive TV Services Dan Marks said, "We have already announced a number of content deals for next-generation TV and we are delighted to be working with Endemol. We intend to lead the way in the development of interactive services and we look forward to collaborating to bring their great programming to our customers and to add an interactive element enabled by our new and highly-advanced platform that we believe will extend its appeal and develop new commercial opportunities. Significantly, our next-generation TV service will be offered nationwide and not restricted to metropolitan areas, and customers will not be required to commit to a monthly subscription."

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