UK telco giant BT has signed a trio of leading entertainment content providers as it prepares to power its way into the British TV market next autumn.

It has inked a landmark deal with the BBC, with Warner Music and Paramount Studios for the as yet unbranded service which will offer viewers a library of TV programmes, movies and music videos via a set-top box. It will be delivered by high-speed internet connection.

BTTV (to coin an unofficial working title for the service) will be available to BT broadband customers presently without extra charge. But on-demand and pay-per-view options will attract an addtional fee.

A personal video recorder capable of storing 80 hours of programming is also bolted onto the service, which will provide access to over thirty digital terrestrial TV channels via the Freeview platform.

Chief executive Dan Marks insists, somewhat disingenuously, that BTTV will not compete with the likes of satellite giant BSkyB. He claims that it will instead target the millions of UK viewers who do not currently subscribe to a pay-TV service.

This week's deals are the first of many, promises Marks: "What we are showing here is a music company, a broadcast company owning UK TV rights and a studio. We will be doing more deals in those categories. We will also be announcing the development of a whole series of interactive products."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff