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BT and Channel 4 in VOD partnership

BT looks hungry lately, there has been a lot going up in terms of service announcements, acquisitions and launches. BT has just announced a significant agreement with Channel 4 to make the broadcaster’s programming available on-demand on BT Vision, its next-generation television service.

From later this year BT Vision customers will be able to catch up on the Channel 4 schedule and watch some of the channel’s most popular TV programming through Channel 4’s on demand service, 4oD.

At launch, BT Vision customers will have on-demand access to titles from the Channel 4 archive, via 4oD, including Shameless, Queer As Folk, Jamie’s School Dinners and Father Ted.

BT will also provide on-demand access to movies from Channel 4’s film channel, Film4, via Film4oD. At launch, titles will include favourites such as: East is East, Room With A View and Secrets and Lies.

Viewers will also be able to catch-up on popular Channel 4 titles from the previous eight days broadcast schedule using BT Vision’s catch-up TV service.

Dan Marks, CEO of BT Vision, said: "We are delighted to be working with Channel 4, one of the most creative broadcasters in the world, to launch its new on-demand service on our platform. We look forward to working with the channel to bring the best of UK programming to BT’s customers in new, innovative ways.”

Rod Henwood, New Business Director at Channel 4 said: “Channel 4 is the most innovative and distinctive brand in UK television, but in a fully digital world we need to make sure our content is available on multiple platforms so it can be watched whenever, wherever and however our viewers demand. I am delighted 4oD content will be available on BT Vision at launch, helping further establish Channel 4’s reputation as a leader in video on demand.”

At launch, BT Vision customers will be able to enjoy a vast range of film, music and television programming available on-demand as well as interactive services and all the Freeview channels, all available on the TV, with no compulsory subscription.

This combination, delivered on a software platform powered by Microsoft and through a set-top box made by Philips, will also allow digital video recording of up to 80 hours on its hard disk while giving customers choice, control and convenience over their viewing entertainment.

BT Vision has already announced content deals with a range of leading entertainment companies including Dreamworks, i-concerts, Eagle Rock, BBC Worldwide, Paramount, Warner Music Group, National Geographic Channel, HIT Entertainment, Momentum, Universal, Nelvana, SONY BMG, Viacom and Turner Broadcasting; as well as with independents including Lionsgate, Entertainment Rights plc, NBD Television and Wall to Wall Television. BT Vision has also announced 'near-live' FA Premier League matches from the 2007/08 season.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.