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Sky invests £250m on Internet and content to phones

Murdoch's TV company buys stakes in Internet companies, plans to provide content over mobile phones

British Sky Broadcasting (quote: BSY) on Wednesday said it will invest £250m in its online division, Sky New Media, to bulk up its sky.com and skysports.com properties, with a focus on grabbing online-sports market share. The company also announced a deal with telco Kingston to provide its content to high-speed ADSL Internet users and said sales of digital television had jumped to 2.6 million.

BSkyB said it is also targeting next-generation, or WAP, mobile phones and has nearly reached an agreement with BT Cellnet to provide news, sports updates and other content to mobile subscribers. "We have today announced a major investment in Sky New Media Ventures to develop sky.com to enhance the presence of the Sky brand and content in the new media field, with the objective of skysports.com becoming the number one sports portal, reflecting the reputation Sky Sports has achieved in sports broadcasting," said BSkyB CEO Tony Ball in a statement.

As part of its online plans, Sky has taken stakes in several Internet companies, including sports site Sportal, e-tailer Streets Online, and Static, which designs interactive TV services. The company said it will launch an online sports shop, its first stand-alone e-commerce initiative.

More details to follow

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