TalkTalk battles Sky with pay-TV service

BUDGET broadband provider TalkTalk bid to take on Sky, Virgin Media and BT yesterday as it unveiled plans to launch a pay-TV service in tandem with the newly released YouView set-top box.

The company also appointed Sony chairman Sir Howard Stringer to its board as it said it lost 19,000 customers in the quarter to July.

TalkTalk is now planning to undercut its rivals with a £29 a month broadband and phone package with YouView – the £299 internet connected freeview TV box backed by Alan Sugar – as well as options to sign up for additional Sky channels. Chief executive Dido Harding claimed the offer would halt a decline in subscribers and attract new customers. “This is TalkTalk at its disruptive best” she said.

TalkTalk’s revenue during the latest quarter was £414m, a dip on last year’s figures, but Harding said the operator expects to return to growth in the second half of the year based on a recent pickup in subscribers.