BT, Britain's 'born rich' telecoms giant - a former state owned monopoly which still enjoys almost total dominance of the nation's point of delivery infrastructure - is set to move into broadband entertainment and education.
Aptly named BT Entertainment, the new unit will be led by Andrew Burke, present director of added value services at BT Retail.
No newcomer to e-business, Burke is the founder and one-time chief executive at internet service provider LineOne. His curriculum vitae also includes stints respectively as ceo and coo at capital funds eVerger and eVentures.
BTE will incorporate several strands of the group's existing activities - BT Rich Media (delivering video and music over the internet); Click and Buy, its online payment service; a series of video-on-demand trials; and an online education service, BT Learning Centre. It will formally launch on January 1.
The hand on the product development tiller is that of Dan Marks, currently UK president of Universal Studio Networks and head of its Sci-Fi channel. He will report directly to Burke. BTE is already exploring its option for broadcast-quality web video, among which is Conference League soccer.
Says BT Retail ceo Pierre Danon: "A focus on entertainment services is the natural next step for BT in driving further value for new and existing broadband customers.
"Our customers are telling us that they want more, that fast access alone is not enough, and they are demanding more entertainment and communications services.
"The purpose of BT's entertainment division is to meet those customer demands by developing, licensing and bringing to market content, value added services such as on-demand music, gaming, television and movies."
Data sourced from mad.co.uk; additional content by WARC staff