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BT Group dials up television Internet deal with Endemol

Posted by iMark - 2006-02-15

British telecoms operator BT Group announced a deal with Endemol that would see the Dutch production company providing part-content for BT's new broadband Internet television service.

Endemol, the firm behind the "Big Brother" reality television format, will produce "high-quality programming and compelling interactive content", according to BT. Neither company released financial details of the deal.

Customers of the service, which launches in late 2006, will tune into on-demand film, music and television programming, as well as interactive and communications services, all available through their television sets.

BT, Britain's biggest telecoms company, has already made similar agreements with other large content providers like BBC Worldwide, Paramount, Warner Music and National Geographic.

US software giant Microsoft will supply software for BT Group's new project, while European electronics giant Philips will manufacture the set-top boxes through which the services will be delivered.

BT said that the new system would be a world-first, combining digital and terrestrial channels, received through an aerial, with broadband services available through the Internet. There would be no monthly subscription charge.

Elsewhere in the telecommunications sector on Monday, mobile telephone giant Vodafone and Microsoft launched a corporate service to rival the BlackBerry wireless e-mail device.

The two companies said in a statement that Windows Mobile Email would be available in Britain, France and Germany from March and would spread to other countries throughout the year.

Windows Mobile Email will enable phone users to receive emails from their office-based Microsoft Outlook e-mail package and edit Excel and Word attachments.

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