BT subscriber goal becomes more modest

A Financial Times report based on an interview with BT Vision chief Marc Watson has Watson admitting that the U.K. telco will not achieve its goal of between 2 million and 3 million IPTV customers by December 2010. Watson instead has the company focused on hitting the 1 million subscriber mark (BT Vision now has about 433,000 customers, according to the report).

Watson, who took charge at BT Vision this summer, also wants the video offering to become the center of more-aggressively marketed triple play service bundles. He also is hoping for regulatory progress that will allow BT Vision access to BSkyB premium sports content, and is looking forward to the eventual release of new Project Canvas set-top boxes.

Satellite TV player BSkyB remains the dominant TV service provider in the U.K., and BT Vision also has to contend with cable TV provider Virgin, which has been moving to DOCSIS 3.0 and also just announced it will test a video service using fiber-to-the-curb with VDSL2+.

Watson's predecessor, Dan Marks, launched the BT Vision service in 2006, and often had to defend its progress while growing increasingly frustrated with the U.K.'s Ofcom regulatory regime. His five-year stint with BT ended in June. Watson already is portraying a somewhat different tone and was careful not to indicate when he expects BT Vision to reach the 1 million customers goal.

For more:
- Financial Times has this story

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