BT to show Premiership on broadband

The telecoms giant's upcoming IPTV offering has been given a boost

Hundreds of Premier League football matches from 2007 to 2010 will be available on pay-per-view over BT's broadband network, the telco announced on Thursday.

The deal, which arises from a joint bid with BSkyB, will let British football fans watch full Premiership matches without having to take out a monthly subscription.

BT will be launching BT Vision, a rival to the likes of Homechoice and ntl:Telewest, in June. It will essentially be a Freeview equivalent, except its digital TV side will be combined with a broadband-powered pay-per-view capability for premium content.

The announcement follows recent deals between BT and players such as Dreamworks, Endemol, National Geographic and Warner Music Group. 

A BT spokesperson told ZDNet UK that the football would "enhance [BT’s] offering, as football is the main reason why people get things like Sky".

He denied the move meant BT was becoming a broadcaster, saying: "We’re obviously showing the games, but it’s not actually live broadcast."

Pricing details for the football package aren't yet available, but games will be available from 10pm on the day they are played.

BT Vision will be available through a Philips-manufactured set-top box running Microsoft software. BT promises it will also serve as a digital video recorder and, in the future, a hub for VoIP, IM and video telephony -- all delivered through the internet.

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