Broadband Content Bits UK: Virgin Sports;; Disney-Orange

Virgin Media: The telco, broadband provider and cable TV provider is to launch a website with free sports video highlights, as it looks to compete again with BSkyB, this time on its strongest turf – soccer. Live from next Monday and the product of broadband rights Virgin holds exclusively for the Premier League and non-exclusively for the Coca-Cola Leagues, the site will include video highlights for games involving 92 teams across four divisions, viewable on-demand for one week after final whistle. The site, which is ad-supported and will be available to non-Virgin subscribers, will also include fan commentary, fantasy league contests, editorial and twice-daily video shows produced by Premium TV, as well as news of other sports. They are aiming to make it a top-three U.K. sports site.
ITV: The commercial TV leader, which has exclusive rights to this fall’s Rugby World Cup, will simulcast all 48 matches at the website. The matches are being aired on TV on the network’s ITV 1 and ITV 4 channels. Online, they will be accompanied by a three-minute highlights package. Guardian: “(ITV director of news and sport Mike) Sharman said he expected online viewing figures to be modest but expected that some of the matches that kick off during the day would be watched by office-bound workers.” There will also be interactive options including fixture lists and player profiles on digital TV.
Orange: The multi-play mobile telco has signed Disney-ABC International Television as the first content partnership for its upcoming IPTV service, Orange TV, in a multi-year deal that will give subscribers access to movies from Disney, Touchstone and Miramax studios. Orange TV is due to launch later this year, offering TV and on-demand services to a lounge set-top box over the fixed-line broadband network parent France Telecom acquired from Wanadoo three years ago. Coupled with telephony and internet services. Orange already offers IPTV in France, Spain, Mauritius, Senegal and Poland, but is beaten to the punch in the U.K. by BT; Tiscali will also offer a similar service. (Via C21).