CCS Insight: BT to buy ITV by 2018

ITV logoBT will buy UK public broadcaster ITV by 2018 in an effort to “broaden its rights position beyond sport”, according to predictions by research firm CCS Insight.

In its 2016 predictions report CCS Insight said that by buying ITV, BT would gain a “slew of rights contracts” as well as a terrestrial outlet for some of its own content.

“ITV provides BT with a free-to-air platform for some of its programming, an established channel to advertisers, and an attractive source of content in the broadcaster’s ITV Studios arm,” said CCS Insight.

Elsewhere, CCS predicted that online companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix will drive the creation and delivery of virtual reality content, and will have “clearer opportunities” to generate revenues from VR than traditional film studios.

“Web players have a greater openness to risk and are more willing to embrace new technology. Facebook and Google are the market-makers for virtual reality, controlling the full spectrum of assets needed for success in the field: hardware, software, content, distribution networks, advertising and more,” said CCS.

The research firm predicted that next year a phone maker will design its smartphone packaging so that it doubles as a virtual reality headset, building on Google’s existing Cardboard design.

CCS also claimed that the European Commission will mandate a minimum broadband speed of 30 Mbps for all citizens by 2020, in an effort to “close the gap” between Europe and markets like Japan and South Korea.