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BT is understood to be planning to take full control of TalkTalk's set-top box joint venture YouView.

According to the Telegraph, BT has begun informally talking with TalkTalk about whether it would be willing to step away from YouView.

The provider is currently facing strong competition from Sky in the TV field, as it recently launched its next-generation home entertainment system Sky Q.

This has been touted as a whole new way of consuming TV, as it offers so-called Fluid Viewing - the ability to pause a programme in one room and pick up from the same point on another device in another room. 

Users of the service will be able to take their recordings with them wherever they are, to make their viewing experience even more flexible.

YouView is increasingly being seen as an obstacle in its efforts to compete in the pay-TV sector, partly as BT would have to keep costs down for TalkTalk customers if it wished to invest in a 4K YouView box or Sky-style Fluid Viewing.

A takeover would therefore give it a much freer hand to develop and roll out products with high-end features.

Furthermore, BT is also looking to keep pace with Sky by securing deals for exclusive drama series and covering major sporting events such as Premier League football on BT Sport.

No official statement concerning takeover talks has yet been made, although a source familiar with the discussions told the Telegraph that while a deal is not guaranteed, it could make sense for TalkTalk to let BT foot the bill for YouView.

The rumours come shortly after BT Chief Executive Gavin Patterson told the newspaper: "YouView is a great product but it is effectively run for the benefit of seven shareholders which can mean some decision making is slower than it needs to be.

"What we can’t do is not keep up with the market and not utilise the full benefits the platform can give because of squabbling over investment or prioritisation."

Source:

The Telegraph

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