Vodafone and Sky to buddy up in anti-BT partnership, report says

Sky and Vodafone are considering offering joint mobile-broadband-TV bundles, according to a new report, partnering to fight the might of BT.

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Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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Nick Hide
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Sky and Vodafone are considering offering mobile-broadband-TV bundles, partnering up to fight the onrushing might of BT, according to a report in the Sunday Times (paywall link).

The two companies are scared of BT's growing pulling power now that it has serious football TV rights as well as an upcoming mobile venture with EE, the report says, and have held 'high-level talks' around possible responses.

Both Sky and Vodafone declined to comment on the story when I contacted them.

So-called 'quad-play' offers -- where you buy your landline, broadband, premium TV and mobile contract all from the same company -- have proven popular with Virgin Media customers and BT's investment in Premier League football is primarily to get a piece of that action.

The company formerly known as British Telecom signed a deal with EE in October to create an MVNO, using EE's masts to carry a new BT-branded network, although no date was set for a launch.

While Sky has an extensive broadband business (formerly O2 Home Broadband) and remains the pay-TV leader in the UK, it doesn't have any mobile offers. Vodafone, on the other hand, lacks a home broadband arm, unlike major rival EE. Pooling their resources would therefore make some sense.

Sky and Vodafone already have one deal in place, whereby you get free Sky Sports on your phone when you sign up to a Vodafone Red 4G deal. It's one of the best perks on offer for potential 4G customers, with Vodafone's generous free data also making it an attractive choice for the high-speed data enthusiast.

Would you consider buying all your broadband, mobile and TV gubbins from a Sky-Vodafone tie-up? Or do you prefer to keep them separate so you can jump on better deals? Thoughts, opinions and telecoms-industry gossip are all welcome in the comments below, or on our quad-play Facebook page.

Update 3pm: Added Vodafone declining to comment.