AOL Time Warner has reportedly entered talks with London-based cable operator NTL, as the world’s largest media group searches for a European partner.

US-headquartered AOL is thought to be seeking a broadband distribution alliance on the other side of the Atlantic, where it currently has no cable networks. The media mammoth, it is believed, first approached NTL’s UK rival British Telecommunications about a possible partnership but the latter lacked the necessary broadband capabilities.

A deal with NTL would give AOL access to 8.5 million subscribers spanning the UK, Switzerland, France and Germany in a network that passes 20m homes. In return for a share of the revenues from broadband customers AOL would supply a new partner with content from its manifold media interests.

News sources: The Times (London); Financial Times