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Virgin Group and NTL Will Incite Competition

TelecomTV reports that as expansive cable operator NTL transforms into Virgin over the next eight or nine months, one of its key competitive strategies will be to offer free multi-channel TV programming to subscribers signing up for its multi-play offering of broadband Internet access, fixed and mobile telephony and cable TV services.

Robert Samuelson, the man in charge of Virgin Telecoms and Media says, �The thing about selling four products together is that you can offer one of them for free.� The newly-branded NTL will be the first operator in Britain to offer quad-play and Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and a man who will hold a 14 percent stake in the merged company once the takeover by NTL is completed says, �Across the board we want to make sure we are the competitive leader in the marketplace.�

He�s going to meet determined resistance, especially from Rupert Murdoch�s Sky empire. The commercially aggressive Aussie will not stand idly by as NTL seeks to grab chunks of the market his company currently dominates and is likely to respond quickly and forcefully.

To that end, in May, Sky is set to launch Britain�s first high-definition (HD) TV service and the nationwide availability of the new HD box that is expected to boost the sluggish uptake of high-definition ready TV sets and and add yet another twist to the increasingly competitive bundled communication and entertainment services market in the UK.

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