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ITV favourite joins BT board

TONY Ball, the chairman of Germany&rsquo;s largest cable TV operator and frontrunner for the job of ITV chief executive, has been appointed as non-executive director at BT.<br /><br />The appointment of the former BSkyB boss &ndash; who has spent the past four years turning Kabel Deutschland into Germany&rsquo;s fastest-growing high-speed broadband provider &ndash; came a day after the government&rsquo;s Digital Britain report gave BT a crucial role in providing superfast broadband to the UK by 2017.<br /><br />Aside from his broadband expertise, the pay-TV veteran will be able to give guidance on the development of Project Canvas, the proposed tie-up between BT, ITV and the BBC which would deliver content through one internet portal.<br /><br />&ldquo;The convergence of the computer and the television, entertainment and communications has only just begun and it is clear BT will have an important part to play in shaping the future.&rdquo; said Ball.<br /><br />Ball is the shareholder favourite for the role of chief executive at ITV, after Michael Grade steps down to become non-executive chairman this year. <br /><br />Shares in BT gained three per cent yesterday to close at 105.6p.<br /><br /><strong>TONY BALL<br />KABEL DEUTSCHLAND</strong><br /><br />Ball has held numerous senior executive positions in broadcasting and telecommunication businesses in the UK, US and Europe. For the past four years he has led the successful turnaround of Kabel Deutschland and prior to that was chief executive of BSkyB, where he drove the take up of its digital TV offering. He is also a board member of the Olympic Delivery Authority for the 2012 London Olympic Games and a trustee of the Media Trust.