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Disney makes a deal with UK telecom

Stephen Beard Nov 10, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: The UK’s largest telecom operator BT has just struck a deal with Disney. The former state-owned phone company is planning to launch a pay-per-view TV service. Stephen Beard reports from London.


STEPHEN BEARD: BT has bought the right to screen moves from Disney, Touchstone, and Miramax.

From next month it will offer its broadband customers videos on demand like “The Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.” The deal is a must for BT, says analyst Justin Urquart Stewart.

Revenues from the traditional, fixed-line business are falling. And BT is facing tough competition in the fast growing broadband market.

JUSTIN URQUART-STEWART: It’s not just a matter of racing for broadband. It’s racing to have content on your broadband. And that’s what BT is desperately trying to achieve at the moment.

BT has seen its share of new broadband customers fall from 30 to 25 percent. It’s expected to strike more eye-catching movie deals in the next few weeks.

In London, this is Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

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