BT has confirmed the creation of a new entertainment division within its retail arm. Dan Marks, currently president of Universal Studios Networks UK, has been appointed to oversee video-over-broadband services.
He will report to the division's new chief executive, Andrew Burke, currently director of value-added services at BT Retail. Burke founded UK internet service provider LineOne, and established News International's initial internet presence in 1995.
BT has said the unit will develop music, TV and gaming services for internet customers - but not original content. Marks said: "I'm a television guy and I'm going in there with the responsibility for setting up a TV business."
Pierre Danon, BT Retail's outgoing chief executive, said: "A focus on entertainment services is the natural next step for BT in driving further value for new and existing broadband customers. This is a truly exciting time for us as we feel that we are about to cross the chasm from an early adopter market to one which will fully embrace the full potential of broadband, a fledgling mass market.
"Our customers are telling us that they want more, that fast access alone is not enough, and they are demanding more entertainment and communications services. The purpose of BT's Entertainment Division is to meet those customer demands by developing, licensing and bringing to market, content value added services such as on-demand music, gaming, television and movies."
Marks is a former head of programming at Video Networks, the video-on-demand provider, where he negotiated content deals with film studios and distributors, TV suppliers and major music companies. He was an independent producer and director of films for seven years before entering television, and has run the Sci-Fi Channel in the UK.
Lovelacemedia | 01.12.2004