UK multiplay telco BT is revamping its TV packages, introducing flexible bundles which will allow users to change the channels they subscribe to every month. The TV platform has also fully integrated NOW TV from Sky into its packages for the first time.
It said that the new flexible packages will allow users to upgrade, downgrade or bolt-on additional channels month-to-month as their lifestyle and viewing habits change.
The new range of packages would start at £10 a month, rising to £60 for the all-inclusive VIP package.
“Life doesn’t stand still from month to month, so we don’t believe our customers’ TV should either,” commented Marc Allera, chief executive of BT’s consumer group. “Our new range of TV packs bring together the best premium services, fully loaded with a wide range of award-winning shows, the best live sports in stunning 4K and the latest must-see films – all with the flexibility to change packs every month – with quick and easy search to find what you want to watch.”
“So now with a click of a button you can take out the Big Sport package to catch the top Premier League fixtures one month and swap it for VIP for a rainy school holiday with the family the next,” Allera added.
Marina Storti, Managing Director, NOW TV, said: “There has never been a more interesting and dynamic time for the entertainment industry than right now and we’re so thrilled to be able to launch NOW TV on BT at such an exciting time. With NOW TV’s range of passes, BT TV customers will be able to enjoy our latest award-winning shows, blockbuster movies and top quality sports content with complete flexibility, so that customers can pay for exactly what they want.”
BT TV’s search function has also been updated to enable users to search for content across all channels and streaming services for the first time.
Paolo Pescatore, TMT analyst at PP Foresight, described the initiative as “long overdue” which felt like a last ditch effort to be successful in TV. “Aggregation is the Holy Grail,” he suggested. “BT has done a superb job of introducing some novel features and bringing together key services all in one place. This will strongly resonate with users. However, it is unlikely to pose a considerable threat to Sky, who in turn will be able to bundle BT Sport into its own packages. In the future expect this new TV platform to be bundled with BT Halo which will further strengthen its premium convergent offering,” he advised.
According to Pescatore, it is set to be a bumper year in video/TV services as all providers seek to differentiate their offerings, more so with the arrival of new video streaming services such as Disney+ and others returning and strengthening their respective TV platforms.
Steve Miller-Jones, Vice President of Edge, Limelight Networks, said: “BT making this change toward a subscription orientated model is a sanguine move ahead of the streaming wars truly heating up here in the UK. Viewers want flexibility and choice, whilst there are also questions about how many individual services they will willingly be contracted to at any one time. Given BT’s experience in delivering top-quality content seamlessly to viewers, they are well placed to successfully adapt to the streaming era.”
“What will be crucial to BT’s success is that they get to know new subscribers as quickly as possible to help personalise the experience and connect them with relevant content from their broad catalogue. In doing so, they will help to bring new customers into the BT ecosystem, potentially sell them other services such as broadband, and create much stronger long-term relationships.”
BT confirmed the new packages would launch on February 21st.