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Strategies in the broadband cable TV industry: the challenges for management and technology innovation

Mike McGrail (Mike McGrail is President & CEO, ICTV Inc., Kingston‐upon‐Thames, UK. E‐mail:
Bob Roberts (Bob Roberts is a Reader in E‐business, Kingston University, Kingston‐upon‐Thames, UK. E‐mail: R.Roberts@kingston.acuk)


ISSN: 1463-6697

Article publication date: 1 February 2005




To examine the status and strategies of the broadband cable TV industry on a world‐wide basis.


Data were gathered through a review of the literature and a series of one‐on‐one interviews with key industry executives, and with consultant analysts dedicated to the industry. The SWOT technique proved useful in analyzing the organizational environment; value chain analysis was used to understand the value‐generating components of the core activities; a Boston Consulting Group product portfolio matrix identified the nature of the products offered by the industry.


Four forces were identified which had impacted significantly on the industry. These were the rise of the internet, the experience of competition for telephony services, the arrival of satellite TV, and a persistent image of poor customer service. The paper observes that recent trading results have revealed very little evidence that modified strategies are making a significant improvement in the industry's overall competitive position.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations relate to scope of companies chosen for the research and by the dependence on the mainly qualitative nature of the data. Further research is required to review innovation in the light of continuing technology developments and mergers within the industry.

Practical implications

More radical innovation is required so that the industry can successfully address its current difficulties whilst simultaneously preparing itself for future competition.


The interview data when submitted to a strategy framework formulation exercise enabled the environmental situation of the industry to be understood and the identification of the critical success factors to achieve strategic objectives.



McGrail, M. and Roberts, B. (2005), "Strategies in the broadband cable TV industry: the challenges for management and technology innovation", info, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 53-65.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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