Tiscali slashes triple play cost


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May 24, 2005
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Tiscali slashes triple play cost

Tiscali is set to bring down the cost of bundled home phone, broadband internet connection and digital TV - the so-called triple play - to less than £20 a month, representing a significant saving over its rivals.

From March 1, the Italian-owned company, until now best known in the UK for its broadband service, will begin offering all three products for just £19.99 a month.

The move is expected to put pressure on the likes of Sky and Virgin to look at lowering the prices of their basic packages.

Virgin's recently launched triple play costs £30 a month while Sky's equivalent costs £37.
It also comes in the midst of a slick advertising campaign for the Virgin deal, which has replaced the old cable companies NTL and Telwest, but has so far offered very little that is new.

Tiscali TV will be launched in parts of London and Stevenage, Hertfordshire - areas covered by the old TV cable firm Homechoice, which was acquired by Tiscali in August.

However, the company plans to add services in Birmingham, Edinburgh and Newcastle during April and May, and areas of Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool by mid-year.

By the end of 2007, Tiscali says its TV service will be available to around 10 million UK homes. It plans to offer it via all its upgraded telephone exchanges by the end of 2008.

The Tiscali TV pack offers consumers a basic 30-channel digital TV, including all the popular Freeview channels. However, the basic package does not include Sky Sports or movies. Users will be able to access these for an extra £29.50. In that case, consumers would be better of with Sky itself.

Those signed up to Tiscali's basic package will be able to use its "catch-up" service, allowing subscribers to watch more than 50 hours of programmes up to seven days after they have been broadcast. They will also have access to a further 100 hours of on-demand programmes.

Tiscali TV will be delivered via a standard telephone landline, so there's no need for cabling or a satellite dish. The company says it will launch a new set top box in July, with a high definition enabled, personal video recorder, allowing subscribers to record programmes.

Mary Turner, chief executive of Tiscali UK, says: "We believe there is a real gap in the market for our TV product. The success of Freeview has shown that customers want more than five channels but don't necessarily want to pay a high monthly subscription.

"Our TV service gives customers broadband plus the channel choice they want, all for the price you would pay for a standard broadband connection."

Steve Weller, head of communications services at independent price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com, says: "Tiscali is going to have to roll this service out quickly and efficiently if it's going to have a big impact on the market. The fact that it doesn't offer some of Sky's channels will limit its appeal.

"However, for those looking for a basic TV package, home phone and 2Mb broadband connection, the price is certainly attractive."

Tiscali's move is most likely to appeal to those who already have Freeview but would like more digital TV services, and past programmes.

The service will become significantly more appealing in July when the video recording box is added, bringing it into line with its more expensive rivals. At that point it will be able to take on BT's Vision service more directly.

Miles Brignall
Friday February 23, 2007
Guardian Unlimited
© Guardian News and Media Limited 2007


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Nov 8, 2005
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this is good news 3 for 20 pounds thanks