- Deal will bring BBC’s ‘enhanced Red Button’ TV services to Virgin Media TiVo, paves way for rich, interactive news and sport coverage in 2012
- BBC Sport app and BBC News app to launch on Virgin Media TiVo
Virgin Media and the BBC today announced a new deal that will bring next-generation BBC TV services to the Virgin Media TiVo® Service in 2012, continuing the successful partnership which saw BBC iPlayer launch on its first TV platform.
The BBC and Virgin Media will now begin to develop new applications and user experiences for TiVo homes - paving the way for Virgin Media customers to gain access to the BBC’s interactive coverage of next year’s major sporting events via a brand new Red Button experience, including Formula 1, Wimbledon, Euro 2012 and the London 2012 Olympics.
A forthcoming BBC Sport app will build on these “enhanced Red Button” services to bring next-generation viewing experiences to connected TVs in 2012. The new app will bring together all the live streams from the BBC’s existing Red Button service, video streams on-demand and additional content from BBC Online - providing a next-generation TV experience of Wimbledon, Formula 1, Euro 2012 and London 2012.
The BBC Sport app will sit alongside the BBC’s existing BBC News and BBC iPlayer apps.
The partnership between Virgin Media and the BBC has already delivered full integration of BBC iPlayer into Virgin Media’s TiVo Service. BBC catch-up programmes are now even easier to access through the search, menus, and EPG, made possible by the openness and flexibility of the TiVo platform.
The award-winning BBC News app, which brings together the best of BBC News on TV and online in an on-demand service will launch on Virgin Media TiVo. Accessible via the Red Button and the Virgin Media TiVo ‘Apps and Games’ section, it is expected to launch in the first quarter of next year
Jane Weedon, Controller of Business Development, BBC Future Media said: “With its pioneering BBC iPlayer service now available on more than 300 different internet-connected TV devices, the BBC has successfully taken catch-up TV beyond the PC and into the living room.
“Having partnered with Virgin Media to bring BBC iPlayer to TV back in 2008, we have since brought a vastly-improved, fully-integrated experience of BBC iPlayer to Virgin Media’s TiVo Service. With the addition of the BBC News app and enhanced BBC Sport services – all accessible via the Red Button – we plan to build on this partnership and continue to innovate in connected TV through 2012.”
Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: “Our innovative new TiVo service offers a whole world of catch-up, on demand, HD, 3D and live TV content and we’re delighted to be adding the BBC’s next generation News and Sport services to the line-up.
“2012 promises to be an unforgettable year for UK viewers and our customers can look forward to every minute of it. We’re pleased to be partnering with the BBC to make even more of their content available on what is the UK’s most advanced TV platform.”
For further information about Virgin Media’s TiVo Service visit www.virginmedia.com/tivo.
Notes to Editors
The BBC is a UK public service broadcaster, funded by the licence fee. The BBC has two interactive services, BBC Online and BBC Red Button, operated by the BBC’s Future Media division.
From weather forecasts to BBC iPlayer, breaking news to programme sites, BBC Online is consistently in the top five most visited UK websites, reaching just under 35m unique browsers per month, roughly 58% of the UK’s online population.
The service is currently being transformed, under the BBC’s Delivering Quality First strategy, from a large portfolio of more than 400 websites to create fewer, better products: News, Sport, Weather, CBBC, CBeebies, Knowledge & Learning, TV&iPlayer, Radio, Homepage and Search.
These products are being developed under a single strategy to build a more coherent, seamless, immersive and highly-social BBC Online service for audiences to experience on four screens (computers, mobiles, tablets and connected TVs).
BBC Red Button
BBC Red Button allows viewers to join in with programmes by playing games and watching extra coverage of events such as festivals. News and weather updates, competition results and other topical information are also available, with around 13 million UK adults ‘pressing red’ every week.
BBC Red Button is undergoing its own evolution as audiences switch on to the benefits of internet-connected TV, and the BBC implements its Delivering Quality First strategy. BBC Red Button has huge potential to bridge audiences from linear TV into BBC Online, and the BBC is currently assessing which online products (in addition to BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport and BBC News) it will bring to the living room, and how they can be integrated with the BBC’s linear output as part of its emerging connected TV strategy.
With the potential for BBC Red Button to serve as a mechanism to deliver more BBC Online content to the TV set, and deliver additional streams online on-demand - the BBC announced proposals in October to reduce the number of Red Button broadcast streams (in effect, hidden TV channels) to just one across all platforms to create a more cost-effective and consistent service for audiences across all platforms.
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About Virgin Media
Virgin Media is the first provider of all four broadband, TV, mobile phone and home phone services in the UK.
The company’s cable network – the result of multi-billion pound private investment – delivers ultrafast broadband to over half of all UK homes, with speeds of up to 120Mb, as well as market leading connectivity to thousands of public and private sector organisations across the country.
Virgin Media has developed the most advanced interactive television service, bringing together broadcast TV, thousands of hours of on demand programming and the best of the web in a single set-top box powered by TiVo. The company was the first to offer HD TV and 3D on demand to millions of British households.
The world’s first virtual mobile network was launched by Virgin Media and it is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the country.
Virgin Media is a part of Liberty Global plc, the world’s largest broadband communications group. Together Virgin Media and Liberty Global serve 25 million customers across 14 countries, helping connect people to the digital world and enabling them to discover and experience its endless possibilities.
For more information, go to www.virginmedia.com