March 06, 2013

Neil Berkett's farewell

From Broadcast TV News:
CABLE CONGRESS 2013 – LONDON. As Neil Berkett prepares to depart the stage, the man who has arguably been the most successful CEO in UK cable said he was immensely proud of what has been built at Virgin Media.
“We didn’t know the value would be created with Liberty Global. It was Absolutely the right decision for our shareholders, our employees, and most importantly our customers. Superfast communications are as important to national success as canals and railways were in the past. the cable sector has not only avoided the recession but has grown. Our services are the new arteries of the economy. Without our commitment the digital infrastructure would not be as developed as it is. Cable is a slow starter in many countries. In the UK we were comprehensively left behind by satellite.”
Personally I think Berkett has done a fine job. If you look at where he started from with the newly merged NTL and Telewest, a single HD channel broadcasting just in the evenings, junk bond value, annual losses and high churn, and set-top boxes out performed by Freeview cheapies, we should all be grateful. Of course we're not, we never are, but I think he's done a fine job. Thank you Mr Berkett.
(Now can we please have Sky Atlantic as a parting gift?)


Phil Baxter said...

I've always found Berkett to arrogant and out of touch. He was always keen to hint at new things 'coming soon', when in reality little of note ever happened.

It also irks me greatly to hear Virgin continually going on about their 'superfast broadband'. Many people live in heavily over subscribed areas, where during peak times Virgin broadband is anything but 'superfast'. Superslow perhaps, comatose, dead, dial up speed. Those would be better descriptions.

But hey, they've still got lots of money spare to advertise like crazy.

Jon said...

No doubt he has left Virgin in better financial shape than he found it. His focus on broadband and TiVo has been sound and successful and ANYONE would have struggled competing with Sky! But... I agree he uses PR to promise more than he ever has realistic plans to deliver. This has happened several times. It seems more a policy than incompetence. And, long term, if they believe their own broadband hype, they are in trouble as the limitations of DOCSIS become more evident against Infinity and others, like Sky, reselling it.