BSkyB Launches Broadband Promotion Amid Intensifying BT Rivalry
U.K. pay-TV company BSkyB, in which Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. owns a 39% stake, "has quietly unveiled a new broadband promotion amid an intensifying rivalry with telecom giant BT," according to George Szalai of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. BSkyB announced that "it would offer free DSL service for a year" (a value of $140) or free fibre-based broadband for six months ($189) to "new broadband subscribers who also take its Sky Sports TV package." Under the promotion, new broadband subscribers who do not take Sky Sports "will get DSL broadband for half the normal price for a year, compared to a previous half-price offer for half a year." BT last month announced that its three new sports channels "would be offered free to its 5 million-plus broadband subscribers." When BT unveiled its offer, "some analysts and investors were concerned that BSkyB could launch a big, broad-based discount offer in retaliation." Financial firm UBS analyst Polo Tang said, "Investors will be relieved that BSY is not going for the 'nuclear option' and re-pricing its entire base. Rather it is using a tactical promotion for a finite period" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 6/17).