31 August 2000

UK cable market leader NTL is talking to Carlton/Granada-owned pay-TV rival ONdigital about uniting to combat the pay-TV dominance of BSkyB, according to a report yesterday in The Guardian newspaper.

This claims that NTL is eager to harness its TV, internet and telephone services to ONdigital's multiplex channels outside its existing cable areas. Special software would be installed in NTL’s set-top boxes to enable cable-users to receive digital TV data via an aerial, thereby bringing the cable service into line with ONdigital’s technology. A deal would also greatly extend ONdigital’s audience reach.

Barclay Knapp, chief executive of American-owned NTL, is quoted as saying: “We are always looking at ways of expanding our internet and telephony service beyond our franchise areas. We want to be able to say to customers 'if you want a multi-channel TV service as well, then call ONdigital'."

News source: CampaignLive (UK)