BSkyB is to extend the reach of its Sky Text service by making it available on Freeview.
The UK satellite television operator is a shareholder in Freeview, the free-to-air digital terrestrial television service, together with the BBC and Crown Castle.
The launch of Sky Text on Freeview will add a further 3.7 million households to the potential audience for the service, which offers news, sport, finance and weather information. Sky says this will expand the potential audience and therefore advertising revenue opportunity for Sky Text.
“Sky Text is already an established and valued source of news and information for millions of satellite viewers,” said David Klein, General Manager of Sky Text. “We are pleased to be able to make it available to a wider audience on the digital terrestrial platform.”
The Sky Text service will be accessible to digital terrestrial viewers through the ‘text’ button on their remote control while watching Sky News, Sky Sports News or Sky Travel channels.
The content for the service is produced using the Magenta system from SysMedia.
Sky commissioned a bespoke MHEG application from Strategy and Technology, who also provided the playout system TS Broadcaster.
Sky launched its digital text service on satellite in December 2000. It is estimated that the service is used by approximately two million adults per week.
Sky says that there are no current plans for any further interactive services on Freeview. Equally, there are no plans for integrate the Sky Active and Sky Text services on satellite, which they say are distinct in terms of their business model and content proposition, as emphasised by the recent re-design of Sky Active.