Page last updated at 12:56 GMT, Friday, 6 June 2008 13:56 UK

BT Vision charges for BBC content

Sid Owen and Patsy Palmer
The BBC will not make any money from the new arrangement

BT has started to charge users of its television service who want to watch on-demand BBC content.

BT Vision users could previously view programmes like EastEnders for nothing, but must now sign up to the 3-a-month TV Replay subscription to see them.

BT said that, while the same content was available on PCs, it could be seen in "top quality" through its service.

The BBC said it was happy the shows were being provided through BT's "lowest possible subscription tier".

The on-demand programmes available through BT Vision can also be found online through the BBC's iPlayer.

'Never highlighted'

A spokesman for BT said that its customers had only been able to view BBC on-demand content up until now because of "technical issues".

BT Vision had "never highlighted this benefit in its marketing materials", he added.

Customers are, of course, able to watch BBC shows for free on their laptop or PC in lesser quality on the BBC player in the usual way
BT spokesman

Channel 4's on-demand content, which can also be viewed online, has been a part of the TV Replay package for some time.

"The BBC programmes, including hit shows like The Apprentice, are delivered in top quality over the BT Vision on-demand platform," the spokesman said.

He added: "Customers are, of course, able to watch BBC shows for free on their laptop or PC in lesser quality on the BBC player in the usual way."

Live streaming

A BBC spokeswoman said: "In line with other TV platforms where BBC programmes are made available on demand, the BBC requires that all public service content should be accessible via the lowest cost subscription tier.

"In this case, it is BT Replay."

She stressed that the BBC would not be making any money from the new arrangement.

The BBC iPlayer is already available through rival television service Virgin Media for no extra charge beyond the standard subscription package.

Meanwhile, the BBC has announced that BBC One will be streamed live on the corporation's website by the end of the year.

A spokeswoman said that all BBC channels would eventually be streamed live online.


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