BBC Worldwide inks deal with video-on-demand co.

Popular dramas added to Video Network's existing fare

LONDON — Video Networks, the video-on-demand service, has inked a two-year licensing deal with BBC Worldwide, the pubcaster’s commercial arm, for 600 hours of programming.

Video Networks, which trades under the brand Homechoice, is currently available in several hundred London homes on ADSL lines supplied by British Telecom. Although at present small, the company is ahead of the U.K.’s cable operators in rolling out VoD.

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The deal covers a range of BBC programming, adding popular dramas such as “Jonathan Creek” or current affairs like “Panorama” to Video Network’s existing fare, including movies from Warners and Disney. A third studio will be announced soon.

By the end of the year, Video Networks expects to have at least 1,000 subscribers and will grow as BT expands its ADSL network. The company subsidizes the cost of ADSL to its customers, who pay between $11.50 and $25.00 per month for four feeds offering everything from comedy to news to kids shows to sports. Movies are extra.