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BT and TalkTalk to Keep YouView TV Platform Until 2024

Broadband providers BT and TalkTalk will keep their YouView-based TV services running until at least March 2024, after signing a new Shareholder Agreement with the broadcasters that are joint partners in the venture.

YouView is an IPTV service—an internet-based video on demand and catch-up pay TV platform—launched in July 2012, just ahead of the London Olympics. It’s a partnership between BT Group, TalkTalk Group, and broadcasters the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Channel 5. While its services can be sold separately, they’re most commonly purchased in the form of broadband and TV bundles from its commercial ISP partners BT and TalkTalk. 

The platform is currently used by around three million households in the UK. But despite this, its future has seemed cloudy recently. 

The BT Group once entertained ideas of becoming a major television service provider, in league with Sky and Virgin Media. It was in the flush of that ambition that it invested in YouView and launched BT Group. But it seems to have retreated from those ideas in order to focus on its roll-out of full-fibre broadband.

Already, BT ISP brand Plusnet has yanked its YouView offerings, closing them to new orders in January 2021 and then scrapping the service entirely in November. BT was also reportedly considering putting its TV sport business on the block to help fund the £12 billion full-fibre build. Instead, it’s agreed to spin off BT Sport into a joint venture with Discovery, which owns EuroSport.

Meanwhile, TalkTalk has moved to adopt competing Netgem TV and NOW TV platforms. And YouView’s TV broadband partners have all joined the Freeview/Freesat platforms under Digital UK, with Channel 5 the last to join, in December 2021.

However, a new regulatory notice from ITV, spotted by ISPreview, suggests that YouView will continue to be supported until at least 31 March 2024. The notice to shareholders says that ITV and the BBC have each agreed to contribute £750,000 to YouView each financial year between 1 April 2022 and 31 March 2024.

A spokesperson for TalkTalk confirmed the service will continue: “We are delighted to recommit to YouView as it’s a brilliant way to access a whole world of content easily, live and on demand. We look forward to announcing new TalkTalk TV products powered by YouView soon.”

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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