BSkyB signs deal with Sony for set-top boxes

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The Independent Online

BSkyB yesterday moved further ahead in the race for digital television market share when it signed a deal with Sony for the Japanese electronics giant to supply 200,000 set-top boxes in the run-up to Christmas. BSkyB's move comes as its arch-rival Telewest has temporarily quit marketing digital cable services owing to a shortage of set-top boxes from Pace Microelectronics.

BSkyB yesterday moved further ahead in the race for digital television market share when it signed a deal with Sony for the Japanese electronics giant to supply 200,000 set-top boxes in the run-up to Christmas. BSkyB's move comes as its arch-rival Telewest has temporarily quit marketing digital cable services owing to a shortage of set-top boxes from Pace Microelectronics.

The Japanese manufacturer is the sixth consumer electronics firm to become a BSkyB digital box supplier. Sony will assemble the boxes at its Welsh factory. Sony has already begun shipping the boxes to retailers. The new decoder is characterised by a slimline design that is expected to appeal to more style-conscious consumers.

BSkyB has signed up 4.5 million digital subscribers and is committed to shutting its analogue service next summer. The run-up to Christmas is the biggest selling period for multi-channel TV services. BSkyB stock closed down 11p at 1,159p.

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