UK cable television operator Telewest Broadband has signed a three-year deal with BBC Broadcast to provide encoding and navigation services for its new video-on-demand service, Teleport.

The Teleport service offers cable subscribers on-demand access to movies and television programmes.

BBC Broadcast will provide video encoding for programmes, together with ‘barker’ channels to promote them and associated programme description and genre information to allow viewers to search for specific programmes.

Philip Snalune, director of product management and marketing at Telewest Broadband, said: “Teleport puts the viewer in control of the TV schedule and, with BBC Broadcast’s barker channels and search facility, it will be a truly intuitive customer experience.”

Eric Tveter, president and chief operator officer of Telewest, has said that the service will “change the way people watch TV”, giving them “TV on their terms”.

BBC Broadcast goes to bank
From the beginning of August, following government approval, control of BBC Broadcast passed from the BBC to Creative Broadcast Services, owned by the Macquarie Capital Alliance Group investment fund and Macquarie Bank.

The Australian group bid £166 million to acquire the playout and promotion subsidiary, which will receive over £500 million from the BBC over the next ten years in long-term contracts.

Siemens Business Services, which acquired the BBC Technology subsidiary a year ago, made a loss of €109m in the last quarter, compared to a loss of €2m in the same period the previous year. The loss is attributed to an overall decline in profitability as well as restructuring charges.