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BT Vision To Miss Three Million Subscriptions Goal

In a rather blunt but sincere admission, BT Vision’s chief executive Marc Watson has claimed that the service will miss out on its previous target of having a user base between two and three million by the end of the next year, it has been reported.

While speaking in an interview with Financial Times, Watson said that the target, defined by the BT’s CEO Ian Livington, won’t be attained within the stipulated time frame.

The IPTV service, which has had 433,000 customers at the end of the first half of this year, has failed to create the anticipated impact over the TV market in the UK.

However, Watson asserted that its subscription level can be hiked to twice of its current level to around one million subscribers.

Discussing the service’s likely failure in attaining the preset targets, Watson said: “We have not yet found the best way of explaining what the benefits are to consumers, and what [BT Vision] stands for. We won't hit 2-3m customers over that time.”

He attributed the slow uptake of the service to a number of factors, including lack of sport-related content from BSkyB, and is looking forward to the Ofcom’s scrutiny of the pay-TV arena to rectify the situation a bit.

In addition, high-end services from rival broadcasters, like Virgin Media, too impacted the uptake of the IPTV service from BT.

Our Comments

Will Mr Watson keep his job even as he fails to significantly push up the number of users at BT Vision? This remains to be seen. The problem is that BT is not seen as a broadcaster the way Sky or Virgin (ex Telewest) are seen but more as a telecommunications company.

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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.