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10/06/2002

NTL reveal 'improved' digital package

NTL, the UK’s leading broadband services company, have unveiled plans for a significantly improved digital TV product with over 25 new TV channels, 17 new radio channels as well as new look Interactive and EPG services, with more features and enhanced functionality.
The move, which boosts the group's channel base to 150, now heightens the competition with rival broadcaster Sky.
"Every aspect of our digital TV service is being improved,” said Stephen Carter, Managing Director of NTL.
“This is a shot in the arm for digital cable TV and more great news for our customers. It’s simply better digital TV.”
NTL’s digital TV service now offers big-brand channels such as Discovery Health, Discovery Kids, The Biography Channel, Smash Hits, Q, Kiss, Kerrang, UK Food, British Eurosport News and Sky Sports News.
There will also be 17 new radio channels, including 12 stations from the BBC. Also, following agreement with the BBC, NTL will also screen the FIFA World Cup - with additional ‘Broadband TV’ services such as additional match highlights, interviews, and behind-the-scenes action.
Elsewhere, NTL's US-based parent company has reported a $5.4 billion profit – the first in 2002 following their record $12.8 billion bankruptcy claim last year – after a gain of $6.4 billion from discharging debt, the company said in a US Security and Exchange Commission filing.
The filing also reported that the UK and Ireland arm, which has more than 3 million customers, may report a $423.1 million loss in 2003 which could, however, dove tail into a $997.5 million profit in 2006. Revenue in the UK and Ireland region may more than double to $7.9 billion by 2006, from $3.4 billion this year.
The filing's buoyant predictions, and the padded digital package in the UK, will enhance the company brand which had taken a battering following the record-breaking insolvency. That, coupled with reports that Deloitte & Touche has sold ITV Digital's customer lists to NTL, gives notice of the company's intentions to rivals Sky.
NTL will reportedly use the lists to canvass ITV Digital's 1.1 million customers who were set adrift after the platform's failure to stay in business.
Deloitte & Touche has called an ITV Digital creditors’ meeting for June 13 in Central Hall, Westminster, in Central London.
NTL, www.ntl.com
(GMcG)
VMI.TV Ltd

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