LondonNet News Headlines
20/01/00
BBC Could Follow Time Warner Route
- AOL deal concentrates minds at Broadcasting House

THE BBC could follow Time Warner down the road of a hugely lucrative commercial internet tie-up, it has emerged.

Time Warner were yesterday swallowed up by US internet giant AOL in a UKP100 billion deal, the biggest merger in corporate history. Industry analysts were quick to point out the potential benefits to AOL of the tie-up which include access to the huge and varied content held by Time Warner and the latter's extensive cable TV network

The BBC boasts at least as well-stocked a content cupboard as Time Warner and, of course, a much larger stake in TV but its status as a government service appears to preclude the possibility of a full-scale sell off. However, the BBC is under severe pressure to find its own funds with which to invest in new technology and programmes and it is thought likely that at least an arms length deal could be in the offing.

Bob Eddington, project director of BBC Online did nothing to dampen speculation about a such a move yesterday when he said: "We have seen it it as in our best interests to build our own brand but will be watching the effects of AOL Time Warner very closely. We have been approached by nearly all the big internet organisations to cross exploit and promote."



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