The Italian broadband service provider Tiscali says it is is shutting down its Tiscali TV service in Italy. The company has given notice to customers without providing further explanation. As the third IPTV service provider in Italy it struggled to sign up subscribers. The future of the Tiscali TV service in the United Kingdom must now be in doubt.
Tiscali TV was launched in Italy just over a year ago in Rome and Milan and was rolled out to other cities with plans to go national. Tiscali TV entered the market after IPTV pioneer Fastweb and the Telecom Italia service Alice Home TV. It is reported to have attracted about 50,000 subscribers, although figures were not provided in the last available financial results.
Tiscali previously acquired the HomeChoice IPTV service in London from Video Networks in August 2006, relaunching it as Tiscali TV at the beginning of March 2007 and announcing plans to extend the service to other major cities. It aimed to have over 200,000 subscribers by the end of 2008, but has declined to provide recent figures. At the end of September it reported 1.7 million broadband customers in the United Kingdom, of which nearly 0.9 million were on unbundled lines. It is believed that only 50,000 subscribed to the television service.
For some time BSkyB was in negotiations with Tiscali about acquiring part of the operation in the United Kingdom but talks stalled over the valuation.
Tiscali says that it will present a strategic plan in the first weeks of 2009 to provide visibility of its activities in the United Kingdom.