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February 10, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

British Sky Broadcasting Plc (BskyB), which aims to have one million customers for its UK digital satellite services by October, is to launch interactive and e-commerce services in the Spring. However the new Open service, to be offered by British Interactive Broadcasting (BIB), will not offer internet access. Instead, BIB will be offered a proprietary network and BIB hopes to net substantial revenues from companies using its services. Whether BskyB will be able to shield its customers from the internet long-term is doubtful. The company is also at a disadvantage compared with cable operators of having slow communications with the use of British Telecommunications Plc lines. BSkyB also announced strategic marketing alliance with AOL. Under the deal, it will supply content including the Sky Sports web site to AOL, and AOL will help to market SkyDigital to its subscribers.

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