Eircom releases ‘eVision’ to rival UPC and Sky TV services

Eircom are hoping to reach 1 million 'eVision' subscribers by June of next year. Image by: Eszter Hargittai

Eircom has launched its new television service ‘eVision’ to its 450,000 fibre-powered broadband users.

The new television service has been introduced by the company to rival that of UPC and Sky. The introduction of Eircom to the television market makes the company the first in Ireland to be a ‘quad play’ (television, phone, broadband, mobile) supplier.

Speaking after a visit to Eircom headquarters where he saw a demonstration of the new eVision service Minister for Communications Pat Rabbitte said,

“I am delighted to see Eircom continue to roll out telecommunications fibre around the country.

“The new television service the company is launching today is a good illustration of the benefits that this investment can bring. This innovation should provide more choice for TV consumers, more competition driving down prices and a boost in demand for broadband services that are becoming available”.

The basic package offers 34 channels (8 terrestrial) for €10. Consumers can increase their subscription services with the addition of 20 extra channels for €6.

Sports packages are available for customers, with one pack consisting of Sky Sports 1 and 2 for an add-on fee of €29, while the Setanta/BT Sports package will cost an additional €19. Sky Movies is available for €24 and ‘eVision’ also offers a HD package for €5, with either 5 or ten high definition channels being offered depending on the existing subscription.

Eircom will be the first company in Ireland to offer services in mobile, phone, broadband and TV. Image by: vivido

However a shortcoming of Eircom’s ‘eVision’ service is that it is only available via their fibre-powered broadband, therefore it must be purchased in conjunction with a broadband package, or by an existing broadband subscriber.

“This model doesn’t surprise me all that much,” said business consultant Adam Steadman, in relation to customers having to be a broadband subscriber to avail of ‘eVision’.

“Most of the companies in that market offer all of the three – TV, internet, phone. UPC change an excess on their internet if you don’t have their phone or TV, so I assume Eircom are using this ploy to encourage people to move their internet and TV in one”.

Some other shortcomings in the ‘eVision’ service is the exclusion of ITV/UTV from its channels, as well as there being no on demand tv, no catch-up service, no integrated iplayers, and no integrated box sets, all of which are included in UPC or Sky digital services.

UPC customer Gwen Clack-Goodall said that her current service is “Ok” but that she still would not switch to Eircom’s ‘eVision’.

“The price is good, but with no catch-up service or on-demand I see no point changing. The catch-up and on-demand services are a brilliant idea. I wouldn’t watch half the amount of TV I do without them.”

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