British Telecom Muscles into TV

30 May 2001

Having been restrained over the past decade from entry into the UK broadcasting sector, British Telecom has at last been freed from its governmental fetters.

The ban on BT was introduced in the early 90s to prevent the former state monopoly from competing with the then nascent UK cable TV and telecoms industry – a restriction that was bitterly opposed by many at the time as it was feared it could lead to US domination of Britain's fledgling cable industry. The sector has now consolidated into just two operators, Telewest and NTL – both US-controlled.

Spearheading the telecom titan’s move into broadcasting is its OpenWorld subsidiary, expected to be on-air by Christmas. BT is thought to be in negotiation about programme and internet content with Granada Media, BskyB and OnDigital.

News source: CampaignLive (UK)