In a surprise announcement from Apple today, CEO Steve Jobs has revealed that the British based broadcaster ITV is to be put up for sale.
Journalists who had packed into the press conference in anticipation of a rumoured announcement on the iPhone 5, which would be essentially the same as the current model but with a few added bugs and glitches, were left stunned by the news. Perhaps even more surprising was the manner in which the announcement was delivered, with a short statement followed by Mr Jobs abruptly leaving the stage while appearing to struggle to contain a laugh, leaving no chance for the assembled media to ask any questions. The press pack consisted of just a single sheet of paper with the following statement:
“After a long and successful history of TV broadcasting in the UK, Apple inc has today reached the difficult decision to put ITV up for sale in order to concentrate fully on our other products. We have already had interest from several potential buyers and expect the sale to raise around $5 billion, much of which will be immediately reinvested in the development of many new and exciting Apple products such as the upcoming iPhone 5, the second generation of the iPad and a brand new macbook that is thinner than a human hair. Up until the point of sale we remain fully committed to producing top quality TV entertainment and can reassure fans of Ant and Dec that their continued employment will be a condition of any deal with a buyer.”
One person who was available for comment following the announcement was Adam Crozier, chief executive of ITV plc:
“I’m as shocked by this news as anybody, especially given that until today I was sure that ITV was a publically limited company in no way connected to Apple inc. But when I called Apple their head of marketing patiently explained to me that a mobile phone called an “I”-phone is made by Apple, an mp3 player called an “I”-pod is made by Apple and another device that’s not quite a phone, not quite a laptop but something kind of in between the two called an “I”-pad is also made by Apple, so it makes sense that “I”-TV programmes are made by Apple as well. When he put it like that it seemed quite obvious really and I felt rather embarrassed to be honest.”