BT Group’s chairman has said the company is considering plans to become a broadcaster delivering telephony, Internet and television as a “fully integrated” media business to fend off competition from cable companies.
Sir Christopher Bland, chairman of BT, has announced the possibility of developing BT into a fully integrated media company within the next two years. The plan could be similar to BSkyB’s model, creating a company which could produce and distribute its own programmes over its own and others’ networks and also distribute others’ content.
Customers are increasingly asking for the triple play model, combining telephony, Internet and television. The move will enable BT to compete with packages offered by cable companies such as Telewest and NTL.
The plan will require substantial investment to improve the transmission quality over the existing network. However, BT is burdened with heavy debt which it has been trying to reduce over the past twelve years. BT is still short of cash, and capital is likely to be a major hurdle to the plan.
BT has decided to consider its options following the demerger of mmO2, its wireless division, and a failed joint venture with AT&T.