Tiscali Switching Off Italian IPTV Ops As BSkyB Takeover Talks Falter


Tiscali could really do with being bought sometime soon. The ISP, mired in stalled acquisition talks with BSkyB (NYSE: BSY), has shelved its IPTV operations in its native Italy (via Broadbandtvnews.com). BSkyB talks reportedly broke down in recent weeks due to disagreements over valuation and it’s unclear what it all means for the ISP’s nascent UK IPTV ops.

Things looked bright when Tiscali snapped up UK IPTV company Homechoice in 2006 – a year later Tiscali TV was rolled out to other parts of the UK and promises were made to go national and reach five million subscribers.

We haven’t seen much more progress on that, and others in the space aren’t exactly wildly successful – IPTV leader BT (NYSE: BT) Vision only has 350,000 subscribers, Orange has put its UK IPTV launch on ice and it’s hard to imagine O2 having any more success with its offering. A strategic plan setting out Tiscali’s UK plans is expected in the coming weeks but, with the on-going growth of bigger rivals BT and Virgin Media (NSDQ: VMED) in the pay-TV sector, the company’s investors must surely still be hoping to win big from a BSkyB deal sooner rather than later.

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