Brit company adds Warner pics and soccer to service

BT Vision, the hybrid digital terrestrial video-on-demand/Internet TV offering from U.K. telco British Telecom, bowed Monday.

Using a set-top “V-box” hooked up to the Internet, subscribers can access more than 1,000 hours of content from Warner Bros, Channel 4 and Disney for £14 ($27.70) a month.

A pay-per-view option costs from 59¢ for a musicvideo to $5.98 for a film or concert.

Next August, customers will also be able to subscribe to 46 live Premiership soccer matches and another 242 games shown just after the final whistle — an important subscriber driver in the British market.

BT won’t charge for the V-box, but users must sign a contract with BT Total Broadband (minimum cost: $35.60 per month) and pay a one-time $178 fee for connection and installation.

“Customers will be able to choose from a library of up to 5,000 movies by next year,” said BT consumer topper Gavin Patterson. “We will be offering much better value than BSkyB, NTL or Blockbuster.”

BT revealed Monday that Warners Bros. is the latest studio to sign for download-to-own, download-to-rent and pay VOD rights to pics and TV fare including reruns of “ER,” “Without a Trace” and “The OC.”

BT Vision also gives auds access to Blighty’s 40-channel plus DTV platform Freeview.

BT predicts the service will be profitable within three to four years and would be in 2 million to 3 million U.K. homes “in the medium term.”

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