United London has won the multimillion-pound launch of BSkyB’s broadband service. United, a roster agency, has been handed the business without a pitch.
The satellite operator is launching its Sky broadband service in the summer. The roll-out is being backed by a “substantial” marketing budget and a Sky spokesman says it is one of its “most important product launches ever”.
Branding agency Venture 3 and Finex, a below-the-line agency, will work alongside United on the business.
Sky announced its intention to offer a broadband service earlier this year over its Easynet network. Easynet is the internet service provider it bought last year for &£211m.
Easynet was the first alternative telecoms provider to unbundle a BT exchange and is currently available in about 30% of UK homes – more than the old Telewest cable footprint. Sky expects the network to be available in 70% of UK homes by the end of the year.
“We’re seeing the beginning of the second phase of broadband development,” says a Sky spokesman. He says its strategy will be to “challenge the incumbents by innovating on value for customers and service quality”.
He adds: “We think we are entering this space with a lot of strengths.” Sky has 8 million customers and he says many of them were “demonstrating an appetite” for taking additional services.
Earlier this year Sky applied for more than 50 trademarks relating to new media services (MW March 23). It has also created Sky Networked Media, a division devoted entirely to online, mobile and interactive television content.