BSkyB confirms launch of digital TV this summer
Tuesday 13 January 1998
BSkyB said the hardware and software developments for the decoders were on track to allow the launch to take place "in the second quarter of 1998". It had previously aimed to start the 200-channel service in the late spring.
The announcement came too late to salvage BSkyB's share price, which had slipped 12.75p to 432p earlier in the day. The slide was prompted by comments from Pace Micro Technology, one of the four manufacturers chosen to supply the decoders for BSkyB's service. The group said it would not supply any decoders to BSkyB before the end of its financial year in May.
That view was echoed around the industry. Another BSkyB decoder supplier said that it would take at least five months to start producing boxes from when the broadcaster placed its order. "Given that time is critical they had better get on with it," the supplier said. Although BSkyB has selected Amstrad, Panasonic, Matsushita and Pace to supply the decoders, it has not given any firm orders and manufacturers have yet to set up their production lines.
However, observers were sceptical about the claims, suggesting that manufacturers had every incentive to pressurise BSkyB into placing its order.
Meanwhile, BSkyB is understood to be ready to provide all the subsidy required to reduce the cost of the set-top decoders to below pounds 200. The majority of the subsidy, which amounts to about pounds 200 per box, was originally supposed to be borne by British Interactive Broadcasting (BIB), the interactive entertainment joint venture between BSkyB, British Telecom and Matsushita.
But BIB, which is planning to launch its service in the autumn, is still awaiting regulatory clearance from the European Union competition authorities. Although it is eventually expected to win clearance, it cannot authorise the subsidy for the decoders until approval comes through. Without the subsidy, meanwhile, suppliers are reluctant to start manufacturing.
BSkyB is now understood to be proposing that it guarantees the full subsidy on the boxes, and that BIB pays it back when it achieves regulatory approval.
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a more fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Kim Jong-un 'purge': Six North Korea officials missing for weeks 'may have been executed'
Diwali: What is the festival of lights – and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nathan Cirillo: Final pictures emerge of soldier moments before he was shot dead by Ottowa gunman
Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
iJobs Money & Business
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
120-150k: Accountancy Action: We are looking for an experienced CFO from a min...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + bonus & benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Business Syste...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...