LONDON - Zattoo, the US and Swiss-headquartered online video start-up that streams television channels from around the world, has launched a service which allows viewers to watch live TV from all of the UK's terrestrial broadcasters via their PCs.

The service claims 2.15 million registered users in continental Europe, and has cleared rights for more than 190 channels in eight countries, for which it pays royalties to networks according to subscriber numbers.

Zattoo also runs advertisements in five-second video slots during the buffering zone when users switch channels.

There has been controversy about the company's rights to stream the channels, but UK manager Alexandra Illes said British laws provided for public service channels to be rebroadcast without the agreement of operators.

She said that as a "one to many" broadcaster, unlike video-on-demand services, Zattoo was not required to agree rights with content producers.

She added: "We're extremely pleased to be coming out of the test phase and launching in the UK with all the terrestrial channels."

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff