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The UK is lagging far behind the rest of Europe when it comes to the introduction of Internet Protocol television (IPTV) a new report has claimed.

According to analysts at Screen Digest, only one IPTV service is on offer nationally in the UK in comparison to eight in France and four in Germany, with Spain and Italy both also having two online television services each.

Low internet connection speeds are one of the main factors behind the "lackadaisical" approach to IPTV by UK providers, Screen Digest's Richard Broughton stated.

"The main driver for telcos is that they are losing their share in the broadband market, so they see TV as a way of reducing the loss of subscribers," he stated.

"In the UK and in Europe, the churn rate is about 30 per cent. BT is losing and having to find those numbers just to stay level, so they will try all number of things to reduce that. And because the churn in TV is lower at between ten per cent to 20 per cent, they can halve that loss by launching a TV service, plus generate extra revenues from advertising."

The comments come, however, soon after both Orange and Virgin Media announced that they are to introduce their own online channels over the coming months.

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