BSkyB fetches IP Vision
Chris Forrester

British broadband users will shortly be able to view live streamed TV channels from BSkyB.

BSkyB is linking with IP Vision’s Fetch TV service, and will supply programming from its channels to dedicated IP Vision set-top boxes (supplied by partner company Netgem), but without needing a satellite dish. The service will go on line early next year and perhaps prepares the way for Sky to place its programming on the BBC-proposed 'Canvas' VOD service.

IP Vision already supplies a similar download movie service for Disney-ESPN, and the BBC, and states that its service is capable of supporting HDTV transmissions.

Sky's statement says: "Sky Player will be a standalone service on the Fetch TV box, offering a range of live TV channels and associated on demand programming from a variety of leading broadcasters. As with access to Sky Player via PC, Mac and, from later this year, Xbox, existing Sky TV customers will be able to access a range of content for no extra cost based on their core subscription, whilst non-Sky customers will be able to sign up to a choice of TV packages via a monthly subscription paid directly to Sky."

As mentioned, BSkyB for its part, will debut a similar service on Microsoft’s XBox 360 console devices starting on October 27. Griff Parry, BSkyB’s director of on-demand, said these new broadband distribution methods were not defensive but simply a way to add value for Sky customers.

Somewhat unexpectedly BSkyB’s share price fell back just over 1% (6p) in early London trading following the IP Vision news, to 565p. Sky’s shares have fallen 22p over the past 4 trading days.