RealTime IT News

BT, DBC Form Webcasting Venture

[London, ENGLAND] BT Broadcast Services and the pay-per-view operator "digital broadcasting company" (dbc) announced a joint venture Monday to form udirect.tv, a TV service to be webcast over multiple Internet platforms later this year.

udirect.tv will carry short films and international sports together with facilities for purchasing videos and DVDs. It will be broadcast over narrowband ISP, broadband DSL and third generation mobile technology.

dbc will be responsible for programming, while BT will contribute its expertise in video content management and Internet video streaming to deliver the content.

Richard Brooke, chief executive of dbc and former group finance director of BSkyB, said that the Internet -- which can be accessed via a PC, TV or a games console -- is now fast becoming the key entertainment portal in the home.

"dbc will launch a service that will satisfy the consumers' insatiable appetite for content -- when they want it," said Brooke.

Leading shareholders in dbc are Pearson Television, Deutsche Bank and Nomura International plc.

Last July, dbc launched a service called directfilms, a pay-as-you-go movie service on Sky digital. It offers 12 channels, broadcasting both mainstream Hollywood and independent films with starting times scheduled every 30 minutes for users' convenience.

As Internet bandwidth improves, udirect.tv will be even more convenient for users. Tony Rybacki, general manager of commercial, BT Broadcast Services, called it a "ground-breaking service."

udirect.tv will be hosted on BT's MediaREEL platform which provides full webcasting facilities.