We understand from good sources that BT is set to announce the name of the buyer for a major slice of its Media and Broadcast operations.
As we revealed in January, BT’s Media and Broadcast (BT M & B) is looking to jettison its unprofitable OU operations. It has let interested parties know that a cash buyer would be welcome for its fleet of Transportable Satellite link vehicles.
We now hear that the sale is going to cover more than just the Occasional Use business.
BT, which since Post Office days has been working with the broadcasting industry, has been persuaded to include its profitable multiplexing business in the sale. This uplinks (ground to satellite) many of the Sky digital TV services and, we understand, it’s possible that part of the ITV network, that it is also responsible for, would also be included.
In the frame for the buyout, which is likely to involve the transfer of over 100 employees, is the Australian-backed Arqiva and a major UK bank.
The sale will ensure that existing contracts are honoured. Shedding it is symptomatic of the burden a heavily-unionised BT carries in making units perform profitably and it strikes at M & B’s ambitions to be a powerhouse in the evolving IPTV world.
Insiders have doubts that media and broadcast will continue an operating unit for more than 12 months.
As soon as we have the details on the decision it’ll be here on Digital Lifestyles.