Lastminute Signs Cable Deal With NTL

Shares in were Friday given a modest fillip with the announcement that it has signed a content deal with U.S-owned cable operator NTL.

Though the online travel retailer floated only at the start of this week, making instant paper millionaires of its founders Brent Doberman and Martha Lane Fox, it has since had a rocky ride – not least from its legion of small investors, many of whom were initially angry at being allocated only 35 shares each and then doubly vexed by the overnight collapse of Lastminute’s share price.

On average, investors have made only enough from the flotation to buy an Indian take-away – about £20 each.
But Friday Lastminute received a much-need boost to its reputation when it unveiled plans to provide NTL with travel and shopping content across the cable operator’s growing digital TV network.NTL’s cable networks currently cover some 3.5 million homes, offering a mix of phone, ISP and television services. But it is in talks to buy Cable & Wireless (C&W) whose own networks cover roughly the same number of homes.

If the takeover deal goes ahead, it would instantly add an extra 48 TV channels to NTL’s own digital television network – at the same time extending Lastminute’s reach to a far wider audience.

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