U.K. IPTV ‘Lagging Behind’ Rest Of Europe – Report

British telcos are way behind their continental counterparts in rolling out TV-over-broadband services, according to a new analyst report that criticizes a “lackadaisical approach” to IPTV strategy. Screen Digest’s review of Europe’s IPTV market said, whilst France has eight such services, Spain four and Italy and Germany two…

BT Vision (LON:BT.A) was the UK’s only nationwide operator – and marketing for that only began in May, five months after it was rolled out.

Tiscali’s TV service (BIT:TIS) is still only available to its customers in London, Surrey and Hertfordshire, having been based on the regional Homechoice service acquired by Tiscali in 2006.

What’s more, Orange’s promise to launch a TV service over the fixed-line broadband infrastructure it provides to mobile customers now looks a distant memory.

Screen Digest: “The UK began the year with only 54,000 IPTV customers, and while BT is now adding 2,000-3,000 customers per week, the delayed national roll-out of Tiscali TV has ensured that fewer than one in 100 UK households will be taking IPTV by the end of the year. By contrast … nearly one in 25 will have it in Spain and around one in ten French households will take IPTV by the beginning of 2008.”

A previous report by Center for Telecoms Research forecast 1.5 million U.K. subscribers by 2011. But then, Screen Digest’s last look at the subject, in April, the U.K. to contribute the fastest customer growth in all of Europe over 2007, so it must have compiled this latest one with some disappointment.