Sky Broadband, Sky Mobile available Tuesday
Rupert Murdoch-backed satcaster BSkyB has unveiled its new broadband and mobile services to fend off tough competition from rival platforms and new media.Sky Broadband and Sky Mobile became available Tuesday at no extra cost to subscribers of Sky’s premium movie and sports channels paying a minimum of £34 ($58) per month. Customers will be able to download more than 200 films, including “Spider-Man 2″ and “The Day After Tomorrow,” onto their PCs, where they will be stored for 30 days. “No other TV service in the world is offering this high-quality service,” claimed BSkyB chief operating officer Richard Freudenstein. “Families’ entertainment needs are changing fast, and audiences increasingly expect to be able to access content whenever and wherever they want.” The number of titles available will increase to 1,000, but BSkyB declined to reveal which studios it had signed deals with. “The studios are very positive and supportive of this,” said Freudenstein. At present, the system can be used only by PCs equipped with Windows XP, and it will take an hour to download a movie. Sports clips are also available. Sky by Mobile allows subscribers to watch Sky News live and streamed video clips from entertainment web Sky One and Sky Movies. In addition, gamblers can place a bet via Sky Mobile. With BT soon to launch an on-demand TV service via broadband and competition increasing from soon-to-merge cable combos NTL and Telewest, BSkyB is attempting to beef up subscriber numbers and decrease churn by extending its services.