BSkyB and C4 mull Hunt’s national TV plan

BSkyB and Channel 4 have confirmed they have submitted expressions of interest in the proposed national TV network that’s at the centre of UK Culture Secretary’s Jeremy Hunt’s plan to deliver local news.

BSkyB said it is interested in assisting local television through broadband distribution, by viewers using the existing yellow button on the electronic programme guide. About a third of BSkyB set-top boxes are ready to handle IP TV.

The satellite broadcaster said it has been in discussions with Hunt about how much assistance it could provide as a platform, and is directing its approach and interest through the main company, rather than involving Sky News. It said that its pattern of satellite distribution for main channels was geared towards national coverage.

Channel 4 put in “a qualified expression of interest”, dependent, among other things, on the new national channel having a prominent slot on the EPG.

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