EE poised to launch own TV set-top box

EE: Kevin Bacon stars in the brand's TV campaign
EE: Kevin Bacon stars in the brand's TV campaign

EE, the mobile operator, is to launch its own set-top box that offers TV and video streaming packages.

The service will be in direct competition with YouView, which is run by a consortium that includes BT, TalkTalk the distribution company Arqiva, the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

EE has previously participated in discussions to join the YouView consortium but no deal materialised and the company is now set to launch its own service.

The service will be free to EE broadband customers. It is anticipated EE will offer Freeview broadcast channels and a number of paid-for video-on-demand channels via the internet. It is thought programming from the BBC, ITV and Channel 5 will be on offer but not from BSkyB, which has its own set-top box product with Now TV.

The service is likely to offer streaming to several devices at the same time, including mobile devices as well as TV via the set-top box, a service not currently offered by YouView.

The move heats up competition in the sector as companies seek to get customers to commit to buying all telecoms and TV services from a single provider.

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