UK cable viewers could find themselves receiving their TV signals under yet another brand, if the £5.5bn private equity bid for Virgin Media is successful. According to British Sunday title The Observer, Carlyle Group is considering whether a change of name might make it easier to restore diplomatic relations between Virgin Media’s largest investor Sir Richard Branson and Sky chief James Murdoch. An increasingly acrimonious dispute erupted between Virgin and Sky after the broadcaster’s basic channels were dropped from the Virgin line-up. The Observer quotes a city source who describes the possibility of losing the Virgin name as “odd” given the £25m spent on the rebrand.
One other option being mooted is the disposal of Virgin Mobile, the Virgin division that was incorporated into the cablenet as part of the merger process. The use of the Virgin brand requires the payment of a licensing fee and the approval of the Virgin Group.