Sky moves into broadband

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Satellite pay-TV operator BSkyB is to offer its services over broadband internet through a deal with video-on-demand (VOD) provider HomeChoice, allowing customers without a dish or cable connection to receive its sports and movie channels.

The deal, reported on Sky News, is among the first major agreements in the UK to transmit television programming over telephone lines. After last month's month news that Sky Sports content will be offered to AOL Broadband Gold customers, it indicates a significant shift in platform priorities for Sky.

Other large-scale ISPs in the UK, such as France Telecom's Wanadoo and BT itself, are also gearing up to launch similar services. As more homes sign up for broadband, ISPs are expected to start competing head-on with cable and satellite operators to offer multi-channel television and VOD.

At the same time, BT announced that successful trials in Milton Keynes and Scotland will enable it to remove distance limitations for its most popular DSL-based services, potentially giving broadband access to another million homes and businesses while setting national broadband coverage on track to reach 99.4% by next summer - the same level as analogue TV.

Separately, BSkyB has launched a lawsuit against customer relationship management (CRM) specialists Electronic Data Services, alleging breach of contract over a £61m deal to provide a CRM system for its service centers in Livingston and Dunfermline. EDS said it would defend its position "vigorously".

Lovelace Consulting  |  18.08.2004

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