The UK cable TV companies General Cable Plc, NTL Inc, Telewest Communications Plc, Diamond Cable Ltd, and their negotiation body On Demand Management, have struck a new deal with Time Warner Inc’s Warner Brothers film distributors, for a new pay-per-view movie service. The companies are trying to break the virtual monopoly of Rupert Murdoch controlled UK satellite company BSkyB, which owns the rights to the major sport and cable and satellite TV programs. The companies have protested over the prices charged by BSkyB for its programming, and the restrictive packages that it bundles its channels and pay-per-view services in, which leaves them with low profit margins on TV services, having to make all their profits from telephone services. The companies are now forging out on their own for new pay-per-view services. Negotiations with Sony Corp and four other film distributors are also rumored to be taking place, along with discussions with sport and music content providers. The four companies will pay a broadcast fee, and a proportion of the pay-per-view takings, for non exclusive rights to show the films. They plan to offer the service only to consumers who take their telephone service, and will be selling new set tops to receive the pay-per-view services.
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