BT seeks to take full control of TV platform YouView

YouView had big aspirations when it launched in 2012
YouView had big aspirations when it launched in 2012

BT is in discussions with its six partners to take full ownership of set top box technology YouView, in a deal reported to be worth £60m.

The talks have hit a series of snags surrounding the valuation, The Telegraph reports, with co-owners the BBC and TalkTalk seeking both a better price and guarantees on the project’s future.

BT had suggested it could buy out the other six shareholders – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, TalkTalk and Arqiva – for less than £20m, but a figure of around £60m is now on the table.

Achieving full control would allow BT to invest to speed up development of its own pay-TV platform, BT TV, suggesting that senior executives are keen to speed up this process as it competes against rivals Sky and Virgin Media.

YouView was originally conceived as a successor to Freeview, offering both free-to-air and pay-TV options; however, almost all of its users are BT TV or TalkTalk TV customers. Last October, Freeview launched Freeview Play, which offers a similar service to the free elements of YouView.

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