London -- Britain's No. 2 MSO and the country's
biggest pay TV platform unveiled advances in the digital arena last week.
Cable & Wireless Communications plc said it will launch
digital trials beginning July 1 in London and Manchester, with service set to begin in
The MSO added that its digital service will include e-mail
over TV, as well as interactive services with partners such as Flextech plc and Bloomberg
It's also in talks with Discovery Networks Europe and
Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon to create interactive content.
At the same time, direct-to-home platform British Sky
Broadcasting Group plc said it will provide digital set-tops free-of-charge to customers
and introduce free Internet access June 1.
BSkyB also said its pretax profit in the first three
quarters of its fiscal year fell $218 million to $112 million, amid escalating costs
related to the digital service, which has sold 551,000 subscriptions since October.