Tesco is launching a stand-alone TV channel in partnership with broadband television provider Homechoice. The on-demand channel will show content from Tesco Sport for School and Clubs scheme, which was launched last year.
The initiative will initially run for a month, though insiders suggest that the channel trial is just a prelude to Tesco launching a raft of channels, such as cookery programming and interactive TV shopping services. It is likely to launch an own-branded television service in the same way as its broadband and mobile phone offerings. Tesco Mobile, for example, is an alliance with O2 network provider.
An industry insider says: “Brands like Tesco could easily develop their own-branded TV services and it is something that the industry will be looking to with interest.”
Programming included in the Tesco trial includes activity sent to schools via DVD, which features sports stars including marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, footballer Frank Lampard and rugby player Jason Gardner.
Tesco already runs Tesco TV, a digital media network that is broadcast in up to 300 stores through plasma screens hanging from the ceiling. The in-store network carries news and information bulletins, sales messages from Tesco and tailored content and advertising from third parties. JC Decaux sells airtime on the network.
Television through broadband is set to grow in the UK with the national launch later this year of BT Vision, which will package its service alongside a Freeview capacity. Satellite operator BSkyB is also looking to launch further services since acquiring broadband provider EasyNet late last year.
Tesco has confirmed the trial and says: “We have no other similar trials planned at the present time.”