BT to dump BSkyB as the gloves come off

24 Oct 2005

UK telco BT is to terminate its marketing partnership with BSkyB following the pay-TV operator’s announcement that it is to enter the internet service provider market. BT currently promotes BSkyB subscription packages on its website and indirectly to customers, and claims to account for about 10% of the broadcaster’s new customers each month. But BSkyB’s decision to purchase the Easynet Group including its ISP UK Online for GBP211 million (USD372.1 million) last week has soured the relationship. BSkyB plans to offer a package containing an unbundled local loop phone service, broadband internet access and pay-TV in direct competition to BT and cable providers. ‘The relationship between BT Retail and Sky will have to be reviewed,’ BT Retail executive Ian Livingston told the Daily Telegraph. Another, unnamed BT source was quoted as saying: ‘Obviously BT and Sky are to become direct rivals now that both companies have signalled their intent to provide video on demand and TV over the internet. It is hard to see what BT has to gain from promoting Sky.’

United Kingdom, BT Consumer, BT Group (incl. Openreach)