NTL/Virgin/Whatever wants to buy ITV. Now no-one seems to have really got that content/delivery synergy right (remember AOL Time Warner?) though one can argue that the Flextech bit of the old Telewest sort of did, with Living TV’s low rent American imports and psychic Most Haunted Next Fucking Non-Supermodel nonsense, but its hard to see what the relationship was with cable TV infrastructure was.
I’ve had cable virtually since I was a child and have never had any interest in fiddling with coathanger like things on the roof. We’ve got Sky now as there is no cable in our building and while I have no interest in Murdochcontent, the picture quality is great and the Sky+ is life-changing. However, cable has the capacity to do far cooler things with its insane and untapped amounts of bandwidth. With its new Virgin brand and quad-play pretensions having a production and free-to-air arm would give NTL more to work with. ITV is damaged goods though. With the BBC’s relentless Dyke inspired descent downmarket and Channel 4 and Five continuing to spew out salaciousness, ITV1 has lost viewers like beads of sweat. Who wants to watch strangely recommissioned, tired turdballs like Rosemary and Thyme? Dig up Lew Grade and get a schedule upgrade! Given how embarassing ITV has been for years it probably will go cheap whatever. Maybe a bit of Branson magic can spice things up, but NTL’s creditworthiness is suspect. I’d buy it if I could. Wouldn’t take a genius to turn it around, but its keeps sinking into Caroline Quentin levels of irrelevance before our eyes. Shame, really.