Yesterday a presentation dedicated to the launch of internet TV channels YouView was conducted. By means of a special set-top box users will be able to enjoy both digital channels and on-demand programming without any pay-TV deals.
On Wednesday, July 4, was officially started YouView, a free UK television service that enables users to access services of different manufacturers (tele-/radioprograms, Internet, on-demand services) via a special set-top box. The target audience of the platform is households unwilling to pay monthly for TV from Virgin media or BSkyB. It’s noteworthy that the YouView development took 5 years and the service was launched about 2 years behind schedule.
According to analysts, the service, created in a partnership with ITV, the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, BT, Arqiva and TalkTalk, entering a market with its offer of such new services as digital channels and iPlayer, may fail to come forward on TV market.
Current YouView’s chairman is Lord Sugar, famous businessman and public personality. Sugar took up a chairman post in the year 2011. Yesterday he claimed that the YouView’s platform was worked out for 13-15 million UK households without any pay-TV contacts. He also said that everything Freeview audience willing to get rid from paid-TV needs is a set-top box.
For Lord Sugar the audience is first of all is simple people, people that are not always able to pay for such a ‘luxury’ as digital and Internet channels.
By the end of July there will by only one model of set-top box on sale. According to Sugar the box was designed by Humax, the manufacturer from South Korea. The price is said to be relatively high, that is $470. Although Lord Sugar claimed that very soon there would be much more models of the box adding that it’s quite possible that the price of the box in two years wouldn’t exceed $155.
It’s supposed that YouView users will be able to subscribe on BT and TalkTalk’s channels. Dido Harding, CEO at TalkTalk, during the presentation dedicated to the launch of the platform said that about his plans and intentions concerning YouView people would hear on July 26, at an investor day.
Despite there are now some problems with software of the service, Lord Sugar, that is by the way also acts as a judge in one very popular British reality-show dubbed “The Apprentice”, is sure that in near future YouView will be one of the most haunted services.
Meanwhile, the analysts aren’t so sure in it. They don’t consider YouView with its catch-up services as a real threat for BskyB and Virgin Media. The analysts think that YouView’s chances to sweep market have noticeably fallen due to its longstanding development period. Too many others competitive services and platforms have appeared.
Nick Thomas from Informa Telecoms and Media considers if the platform was launched in 2010 or at least in 2011, it would have had much more chance to become a market leader. Unfortunately, YouView nowadays is just one more platform along with already known Freeview Plus, Sky, Virgin Media and others.