BSkyB says Yes to video stake

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The Independent Online

BSkyB wants to buy a strategic stake in Yes TV, the video-on-demand company which is planning an £800m stock market float.

The satellite TV group is understood to have made an approach to Yes and its adviser, Robert Fleming, and is keen to take a stake of up to 20 per cent in the business.

BSkyB is keen to use video-on-demand as a back-up to its existing pay-TV operations. It will be able to sell coverage of sporting events, delayed but transmitted as if they were live.

Yes, which is currently running a trial of its service with BT in Hammersmith, west London, already has two strategic investors in the US media giants Walt Disney and Time Warner. They have 10 per cent of Yes each.

Yes is one of two companies exploiting the new ADSL technology to launch video-on-demand operations, which will send TV shows, films or televised sporting events down digital wire to your TV for a fee.

The other, Video Networks, has a commercial service running in north London. It is planning a flotation later this year, backed by Merrill Lynch, which could value the group at more than £1bn.