Sky launches interactive TV betting

Sky Text upgraded with 't-commerce'

British Sky Broadcasting (quote: BSY) is to add e-commerce capabilities to its Sky Text service, which provides Internet news and information to Sky Digital subscribers. The service will allow viewers to bet on a sporting event while watching it on television, as well as providing text-based information.

Sky Text is part of BSkyB's efforts to expand into interactive services, most notably with Open, its interactive TV service. However, Sky has not so far succeeded in establishing a foothold in next-generation platforms such as ADSL or cable-based broadband Internet access.

The service, which operates over Sky's standard digital set-top box, sends transaction information to content providers over a standard telephone line, information is sent to the viewer's TV through Sky's standard digital satellite signal. Information is coded in WML, the same standard used to code Web pages for mobile phones. The infrastructure is provided by Thus, which also handled Webcasts for the Big Brother and Attachments television series.

"By integrating online services within the broadcast environment, the launch of Sky Text and TV betting brings a new dimension to Sky digital's interactive offering," said Jon Florsheim, BSkyB's group director of Sales and Distribution in a statement.

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