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Virgin Media O2’s hopes new Stream service can offer value at ‘tough time’

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Virgin Media O2’s new Stream entertainment service hopes to offer “value” at a “tough time” for people as they consider cutting back on subscriptions, the firm’s TV and entertainment boss has said.

Launched earlier this week, Stream is a small plug and play box that connects to a user’s TV and links to the firm’s broadband and brings live TV, video apps and streaming services to home televisions.

The company says it can help make even older TVs smarter, but without having to sign up to a long contract with large monthly fees, with only a one-off activation fee of £35 needed to secure it and the only ongoing costs coming from the services they choose to subscribe to.

These are all flexible and can be changed every month.

The service comes with support for platforms including Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video, as well as the on-demand services All4, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Britbox, STV Player and My5 and access to Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, BT Sport and others.

David Bouchier, Virgin Media O2’s chief TV and entertainment officer said the device “brings together the landscape of content” across live TV channels, on-demand services, video apps and streaming platforms “into one destination”.

“Value has never been more important,” he said.

“There’s no continuing fee. You pay a one-off activation fee and then the kit and the access to the aggregation, all the free services, all the recommendations and the voice-operated UI is all included.

“It’s also about flexibility: no long contracts, no big bundles, no tie-ins other than through our broadband obviously but there are no content tie-ins, so you can flip in and out every 30 days, that’s really important.”

Mr Bouchier added that the aim of the service was to not only work with older TVs so people aren’t forced to upgrade in order to keep watching, but also to stay up-to-date over a long period so users can get value for money during the cost-of-living crisis.

Virgin Media O2 has also said that anyone who takes Stream can get 10% credit back on their subscriptions when they add them via their Virgin Media bill.

“I think it is a tough time and we recognise that,” he said.

“We not trying to be a TV manufacturer – we’re not trying to sell people new bits of kit.”

“(With Stream) you’re not having to buy an expensive new television, not having to be tied into long contracts”

“We know that there’s a large number of people who don’t want to pay for pay-TV but are happy to pay for video subscriptions so we wanted to get involved in that part of the market and also give them the value that come from having great connectivity. The value message is crucial.”

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