UPC Cosies Up to Liberty Media for Viewer Swap Deal

02 April 2001

Europe’s largest cable TV company, Netherlands-based United Pan-Europe Communications, is in deep discussion with Liberty Media of the US with a view to reshuffling its German media assets.

The talks revolve around the swapping of UPC subscribers with Liberty, specifically in areas it sees as non-core. These would be exchanged for cable assets in key German regions that the US group is currently buying from Deutsche Telekom.

A done deal would increase the core cluster density of UPC customers and significantly reduce the cost of network upgrades essential to its strategy of offering voice, video and internet services via set-top boxes.

According to UPC chairman Mark Schneider, the companies would "definitely work together if possible" on the roll-out of set-top computer boxes. Ordering in volume could "move the needle down a couple of hundred dollars [per box]", he said.

News source: Financial Times