Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate a possible business model for telecom operators for entering the IPTV (digital television) market. Design/methodology/approach - The approach takes the form of a case study, literature search and interviews. Findings - The IPTV business model always has to adjust to the change of external factors and uncertainties in the exploration and the exploitation phase. The four scenarios presented in this paper explicitly address the demand, regulatory and competition-related uncertainties. The scenarios represent the different future possibilities in terms of regulatory environment, industry structure and consumer attitudes towards (IP)TV service. By choosing the right business model, telecom operators can sustain the market competition and deliver customer value and economic benefits. In the light of limited resources, when balancing the requirement of IPTV business model design, telecom operators have to focus on the critical design issues in each of the scenarios. Research limitations/implications - This is a one-case study, so no cross-analysis with other cases was possible. Practical implications - The research does not stop when the critical design issues have been analysed, but takes them a step further to shed light on the viability of the business model in an exploration phase. This is done by integrating the business model framework analysis with scenario analysis. Scenario analysis indicates various future possibilities and provides a platform for analyzing the decisions regarding critical design issues that have to be made in an uncertain future environment. The competing views on future developments are helpful in reducing the future uncertainties with regard to viability and feasibility of business models for IPTV. Originality/value - This is one of the first studies that looks into the relationships between business models and scenarios. Also, the application on IPTV is quite novel.