British Sky Broadcasting (BskyB) operates Sky Digital, the UK’s largest subscription TV service and is also intent on positioning itself as the leading triple-play provider.
This means providing customers with broadcast TV, home telephony and broadband services, the latter of which were launched last summer following the acquisition of Easynet. As a result, the organisation has brought in Didier Lebrat as CTO to “eliminate historical barriers between the different domains” in order to “deliver converged services”. Lebrat sees “a number of opportunities for convergence”. These include, over the long-term, progressively integrating satellite broadcasting and broadband data transport mechanisms to provide customers with home gateway equipment to access both.
“BskyB’s ambition is to confirm its position as the number one entertainment provider for UK consumers. But it’s about using the media that’s the most appropriate, so if you’re looking at broadcasting programmes, satellite is the best technology. If you’re talking about On-Demand through the web, however, a broadband connection is more appropriate because it’s about one-to-one communications,” explains Lebrat.
This means that the web is a key part of Sky’s strategy and the aim is to develop a significant internet revenue stream through online advertising and search. Because this is a new market for BskyB, it plans to recruit from the wider industry to boost its existing team and hire third-party programming skills.