THE LONDON arm of US stockbroking giant Merrill Lynch takes the ITV network to task in a new report, Broadband Interactive Services: The Next Wave. This examines the integration of TV with telephony and the internet, arguing that ITV is missing out on the commercial opportunities of the web by failing to market its site on a national basis: ‘The companies which own ITV are keener to plug their own [internet] services.’ The report contrasts this with the success of the BBC’s sites, commercial and otherwise, all of which are consolidated under the umbrella of beeb.com - now the UK’s second most-visited web venue after FreeServe. Akin to a compliment from a hungry tiger, Merrill praises the BBC for ‘a fantastic job by using the beeb.com name which everybody knows is slang for the BBC’.
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