A broadband digital TV service provider is hoping to boost demand for its services in London by giving users the chance to watch top English football matches on demand.
Video Networks announced on Tuesday that it had signed an exclusive three-year deal with the English Premier League. The company plans to offer video-on-demand access to the 106 Premiership games that will be broadcast live on TV this season. The matches will be available to subscribers of its HomeChoice broadband interactive TV package, which is only available in London. Subscribers will be able to watch matches 24 hours after they have been played.
Video Networks has also bought the rights to archive footage dating back nine years to the league's inception. It paid around £20m for the rights, and plans to charge £6 per month for the service.
Simon Hochhauser, the firm's chief executive, is hopeful that the deal will help to make broadband a mass market technology. "It's just the sort of deal that can make broadband work in volume," Hochhauser told the Financial Times.
The company is hoping to extend its customer base across the country, as BT makes ADSL available to more households. It currently has only 15,000 customers, out of a potential audience of 2.4 million households in London. HomeChoice subscribers currently pay between £6 and £18 a month, depending which services they subscribe to, plus a £40 installation fee.
Hochhouser also said that he was thought the price of broadband would drop in the near future.
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