NTL to launch TV channels after Virgin Media rebrand

NTL is planning to launch a series of Virgin-branded television channels
after its rebrand to Virgin Media next February.

In an interview with Marketing Week, NTL managing director of brands
Ashley Stockwell says the cable company is looking to …

NTL is planning to launch a series of Virgin-branded television channels after its rebrand to Virgin Media next February.

In an interview with Marketing Week, NTL managing director of brands Ashley Stockwell says the cable company is looking to launch a number of channels, such as video-on-demand.

The company already owns branded content business Flextech, which has channels such as Trouble and Bravo. It is understood that Sir Richard Branson is keen to move into branded content and insisted that the Flextech business was retained as a condition of NTL buying Virgin Mobile and licensing the name.

Branson, NTL’s biggest single shareholder, is also thought to have given his blessing for an approach to ITV about a possible merger.

But in a swipe at BSkyB for spending £20m on Lost, Stockwell adds: “It will not be about blowing millions of pounds buying one show because you can. What advantage or benefit does that bring to the consumer? We are working through that – there is definitely something.”

Stockwell and marketing managing director James Kydd unveiled the plans at the launch of Virgin Media. The cable company now offers fixed lines, television, mobile and broadband. Kydd is currently finalising launch marketing activity plans, and last week more than 100 brand and agency staff were brought together for a brainstorm.

The launch spend has not been decided but will form a significant part of the merged department’s £70m marketing budget.

Last month, the merged entity confirmed that agency incumbents Rapier and Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/ Y&R would work on launch activity, as revealed on marketingweek.co.uk.

Cover story, page 22

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