More reports on: Telecom

BSkyB, Vodafone explore high-speed broadband alliance:report

20 January 2014

UK pay TV company, BSkyB and Vodafone had reportedly explored the possibility of teaming up on a high-speed broadband service.

According to The Sunday Times, the pay-TV company and the mobile carrier had already engaged in high level discussions.

However, senior sources who spoke to the newspaper said a business strategy on the lines to compete with one-time national telco BT would fall far short of building a UK-wide, multi-billion pound fibre broadband network.

Vodafone apparently views BT's recent investment-heavy shift into sports TV rights with concerns, as also its separate mobile service tie-up with rival carrier EE.

The company had, till date spent around 2 billion as it competed with BSkyB on its own turf.

In November, BT paid 900 million - way above the market to show all UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League football matches for three seasons from 2015/16. For the present three-year Champions League seasons BSkyB and ITV together pay nearly 400 million for the live football matches.

BSkyB and Vodafone were said to be considering inking deals on Sky's sports and movie channels, as also entering into an alliance on a superfast broadband service.

Meanwhile, BT is spending over 3 billion on a high-speed fiber-optic network that is expected to reach 90 per cent of homes by next year. A further 2 billion would be spent on sports broadcast rights, the newspaper said.

The telco had faced criticism over the past year over its handling of the broadband deployment programme across the UK, even as the Public Accounts Committee hit out at the lack of competition for tenders.

Shares in BSkyB shed over 1.5 billion of their value in November after BT won the rights auction for showing Champions League soccer.

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