London -- Direct-to-home operator British Sky Broadcasting
Group plc said last month that it will supply the world's largest dedicated
pay-per-view offering on its digital platform beginning this autumn.
BSkyB said it will add 24 PPV channels to SkyDigital's
current 48-channel PPV lineup, along with one-dozen PPV channels from independent TV
company Digital Broadcasting Co., bringing its total to 84 film channels. The company
added that SkyDigital plans to show about 25 movies every hour.
SkyDigital launched in October, and departing chief
executive Mark Booth said he expects "1 million digital subscribers by this
fall," in line with the company's forecasts.
DBC will announce its brand name at the Cannes Film
Festival this month, and it expects to start transmitting in July. DBC has a library of
more than 400 films, which it will sell to PPV viewers for between £1.99 and £2.99
($3.22 and $4.84).
Bruce Steinberg, who heads BSkyB's movie division,
said Sky's digital-PPV buy-rates are more than "10 times those of analog."
BSkyB has said that the extra digital capacity will enable
it to be more experimental with movies. "We expect to see themed offerings, with more
international and art-house material, cult classics, seasonal movies," a BSkyB source