TS News - Digital Decision Day For BSkyB Looms

TELE-satellit News, 16 December 1996

Digital Decision Day For BSkyB Looms
  LONDON, England, 96/12/16 (TS) -- The near-term future of digital
satellite broadcasting in the UK is about to be decided. British Sky
Broadcasting will make a decision in the coming days on whether or not to
order a million digital set-top boxes. If they don't it will further delay
the launch of digital TV and if they do it will be setting themselves up
for a multi-million pound gamble on the success of the system.

  London's Financial Times said over the weekend that the broadcaster is
now considering the purchase. If it goes ahead the bid will go to one of
Pace Micro Technology, Amstrad, Sony, Panasonic or Nokia. A BSkyB spokesman
told the newspaper no comment could be made at this time.

  Digital TV promises to revolutionize the variety and amount of
programming on offer but consumer acceptance is less than sure. Viewers in
other European countries, most of which have keenly embraced multi-channel
television, have said "enough is enough" and declined the extra purchase in
return for the possibility of near-on-demand movies and even more channels.

  If BSkyB decide the British public will support digital TV they will be
making a 200 million pound commitment in terms of hardware only. Additional
costs related to subscription management and programming will push the
price much higher.

(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

[Other mailing list archives]