BT's internet TV slow to catch on

UK consumers are proving slow to take up new internet television offerings, raising questions about BT's targets for its BT Vision service, which will provide Freeview channels plus a selection of football matches and on-demand films over broadband.

Ofcom, the media regulator, reported yesterday that just 62,000 households were receiving television over broadband at the end of March - up 44 per cent on the previous quarter but less than 0.25 per cent of all homes in the UK.

BT said the figures failed to take into account the fact that it had only been promoting BT Vision, which launched in December, since mid-May.

The telecoms group reported last month that just 7,500 customers had taken up the service by the time of the advertising launch. It said yesterday it expected "a six figure number" of customers by the end of the year and "hundreds of thousands" of customers by March 2008.

BT stuck to its target of 2-3m BT Vision users "in the medium term" - thought to mean by 2010 - but insiders are concerned about the possibility of more direct competition from British Sky Broadcasting.

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