Sky to launch subscription competitor to Freeview
LONDON - Sky is to take on Freeview with plans to launch a digital terrestrial television subscription service, which will offer entertainment and Premiership football, this summer.
The new service will allow customers to receive some of Sky's most popular programmes -- including sport and movies -- through a conventional rooftop aerial and a separate set-top box for a monthly subscription. The new set-top box will include software and a new decoder.
Sky said that the new service will aim to create more choice for customers who are interested in upgrading from free-to-air to pay television.
The new service will make use of existing capacity that Sky currently uses to broadcast its Sky Three, Sky News and Sky Sports News channels on Freeview.
These channels will cease to be available free-to-air via DTT shortly before the launch of the pay-TV service.
Mike Darcey, Sky's chief operating officer, said: "We look forward to bringing some of Sky's most popular content to digital terrestrial viewers. This will give families more choice and increase the availability of leading content and channel brands."
The launch of the new service is subject to approval by media regulator Ofcom.
The launch announcement has been timed to coincide with NTL/Telewest's switch to Virgin Media, which tonight begins a TV advertising campaign. It also fires back at Irish sports broadcaster Setanta, which earlier this week announced a Freeview service offering Premiership TV for £10.99.
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