LONDON Jan 19 Vodafone and BSkyB
have held high-level discussions on how to curb BT's
growing reach over the broadband market, the Sunday Times
reported, citing senior sources.
The newspaper said the talks illustrate the extent to which
the once-staid telecoms operator has gained on its competitors
by betting on fibre broadband and top flight football.
According to its sources, the newspaper said BSkyB, the
Rupert Murdoch-owned pay-TV group, and Vodafone discussed
striking deals on Sky's sports and movie channels and
collaborating on a high-speed broadband service.
However, the sources said, it was unlikely that the two
firms would build a nationwide fibre network because it would
cost several billion pounds.
Vodafone declined to comment while Sky was not immediately
available to comment.
BT is spending more than 3 billion pounds ($4.93 billion) on
a high-speed fibre-optic network that should reach 90 percent of
homes by next year and a further 2 billion pounds on sports
broadcast rights, the newspaper said.
Shares in BSkyB lost more than 1.5 billion pounds of their
value in November after BT won the rights auction to show
Champions League soccer.