Playing a weak hand badly

A live wire.  I guess.So the dream has died . NTL has ceased to have any interest in taking over ITV, allegedly. With a TV heavyweight coming on board and with the genius of the Murdoch clan complicating things it looked a bit of a struggle but to give up so quickly makes one wonder how serious they were. So…having previously considered (or else fantasised) about what a successful ITV could look like, what about NTL/Virgin/Whatever?

Step one would be to get some exclusive content and services. The real advantage of cable, which has only recently been publically articulated, is that it is based on 1970s rather than 1870s tech. There is a tonne of bandwidth there – depending up who you believe between 30 and 50 megabits worth was used for each analogue TV channel. Given the fact that my last analogue Cable London account had well over 100 channels, it looks like there is scope for spectacular things however you add it up. Broadband should be faster and cheaper and less limited than elsewhere, picture quality should at least equal Sky (at the moment it is a poor relation) and more HD content should be brought across the pond. When ‘Virgin Media’ is launched it needs to articulate a better proposition to consumers than just ‘get all your phones tv and stuff on one bill’, which is about operator efficiency rather than consumer advantages. Make those fat, fast wires cool, NTL! Or else wait for some private equity cats to come round with fat pockets and new ideas when the whole thing drifts and Branson gets bored…


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