BSkyB offers subscribers free downloads of films, sports

MUMBAI: British DTH broadcaster BSkyB has launched a service that allows its consumers to legally download movies and sports packages from the Internet.

The service, 'Sky over Broadband' enables Sky sports or movies subscribers to download clips or full-length features to their PCs without any extra charge to their monthly subscription.

About 200 Hollywood films, including Spiderman 2 and The Day After Tomorrow, along with more than 1,000 sports clips will initially be available free to subscribers to Sky's premium satellite package.

The Sky by Broadband service is being launched alongside Sky by Mobile, which gives customers access to entertainment, sports, news and weather on mobile phones with internet connections. The service is already up and running for customers on Vodafone's 3G network.

As programme-makers and film studios are anxious to protect their rights and to prevent video piracy, the service will be extremely limited.

The subscribers will be able to watch only downloaded videos on a single computer or laptop and will not be able to transfer them to DVDs, portable video players or iPods.

Although the movies can be watched repeatedly, they will be wiped from the computer after a month. Some of the sports packages will be deleted after a few days.

The service also works only with computers running Windows, not those with Apple or Linux. But the offer is restricted to only those who subscribe to at least two premium channels. 

In the meanwhile, Tescom Software Systems Testing Ltd, which deals in quality assurance (QA) and software testing provider has won a contract with BSkyB to become their principal supplier for testing across the UK.

The contract will initially run through to September 2006. Tescom will use its knowledge and expertise working alongside BSkyB's existing team to augment and enhance its testing services across the board. The team will ensure that the entertainment company is able to meet its ambitious project plans in the coming months, states an official release.

The company will provide services that are in alignment with current capability and therefore allowing them more scope for new systems to be developed. It will also provide a flexible resource model in order to expand BSkyB testing capability and have already started work on some of the companies critical projects.

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