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January 2, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 1:00pm

BRITISH TELECOM, BSKYB, MATSUSHITA TO WORK ON DECODER

By CBR Staff Writer

None of the parties would comment directly, but in order to get around the fears that Rupert Murdoch’s UK vehicle will control and seek to monopolize the technology, British Telecommunications Plc, British Sky Broadcasting Plc, Midland Bank Plc and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd are thought to be forming a 500m British pound venture to supply decoders for digital television. According to the Sunday Telegraph, British Telecom and BSkyB will each take 30% with the others each taking about 20%. The plans have reportedly been submitted to the Department of Trade & Industry and to the Office of Telecommunications, and the parties are said to have pledged to offer third-party access to the decoder boxes, which could support more than 200 channels as well as on-line services. Potential manufacturers in-clude Samsung Electronics Co, Pace Micro Technology Plc and Philips Electronics Plc. The paper reckons the partners will inject cash into the venture and subsidise sales of the boxes to speed the introduction of digital television, with the decoders out by next Christmas.

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