Britain’s two largest cable companies NTL and Telewest – which between them boast 4.5 million subscribers – have struck an ad sales deal.

Under the agreement, advertising on NTL’s electronic programme guide and internet, broadband and interactive platforms will be sold by its cable colleague, allowing advertisers to design national campaigns spanning the cable network.

The deal, thought to be worth tens of millions of pounds to Telewest, will see NTL’s advertising sold via the former's Flextech Sales unit from July.

The duo, which have persistently quashed merger rumours [WAMN: 17-Nov-00], may later extend the agreement to encompass broadcast channels. They already operate a joint pay-per-view film service titled Front Row, designed to compete with satellite rival BSkyB’s Sky Box Office.

The news comes as NTL announced that its sale of convertible bonds – unveiled earlier this week [WAMN: 09-May-01] – has raised $1 billion, double the amount anticipated. This extra cash is expected to keep the group funded until the end of 2003, when it aims to reach profitability.

News Source: CampaignLive (UK)