Sky seeks to revive Picnic value brand

Sky%20120x120BSkyB is understood to be plotting to revive its value brand Picnic as a broadband and telephone service. It comes after Ofcom delayed its proposals for a value TV service on Freeview until 2009.

Sky has contacted consumers that expressed an interest in the TV offer about the new deal, hinting it hopes to push ahead with the TV service at a later date.

In an e-mail sent to customers, it said: “The Picnic team has been working hard to bring you this service and we have not given up. We are as keen as ever to bring you Picnic TV through your aerial, and in the meantime hope to launch with our great broadband and phone services.”

A Sky spokesman says no decisions have been taken. “We are considering a range of options,” he adds.

But sources close to the satellite broadcaster say it is “not inconceivable” a dual-play service will be launched in the autumn. Sky is also thought to be looking at providing Picnic as an IPTV service, to TV sets through broadband lines.

Sky intended to launch a triple-play package of TV, phone and broadband under the Picnic brand last summer, but must wait until Ofcom gives it the go-ahead.

The watchdog did not start its investigation into Sky’s plans to replace Sky Three, Sky News and Sky Sports News with the new package until the autumn.

Ofcom was expected to deliver its verdict in January this year, but earlier this month said it was to examine Picnic proposals as part of its ongoing investigation into the wider pay-TV market. A decision is not expected until early 2009, two years after Sky submitted proposals.

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