Murdoch mulls broadband buyout

14 Oct 2005

UK pay-TV giant BSkyB is considering entering the broadband market, according to media reports and industry sources. Earlier this week the satellite broadcaster announced plans for the issue of a GBP1 billion bond, fuelling speculation that at least half of the proceeds will be ploughed into entering the high speed internet market. The move would allow the company, which is controlled by Australian mogul Rupert Murdoch, to offer a package of phone service, broadband internet access and pay TV to rival cable triple play providers. BSkyB is understood to be considering buying one of the fast-growing broadband service providers to bypass the time and cost involved in rolling out its own service from scratch. Rumoured acquisition targets include OneTel, Easynet, Pipex and Video Networks. To complement the launch, BSkyB also plans to invest between GBP100 million and GBP200 million in local loop unbundling for its home telephony and digital TV service, thus bypassing incumbent BT. The company’s eight million subscribers currently have to plug their set-top boxes into a BT phone line in order to receive interactive TV services.

United Kingdom