BSkyB has launched a new division called Sky Interactive Programming which will look after the company’s range of technical and digital services.
The unit will allow viewers with an appropriate remote control to access video clips and other text information on part of the screen while watching a programme.
Sky’s existing Internet, games, and text services will also be run from this division.
The head of the new unit will be Steve Billinger, who has been appointed as Sky’s first director of Interactive Programming.
Billinger will report to managing director of Sky Networks Elisabeth Murdoch.
Murdoch says: “People want television to be better. But they do not want their television to become a computer. Sky Interactive Programming has only one aim, to make TV more enjoyable for the viewer.”
Billinger launched the Microsoft Network Internet service in the UK, and is also a former director of independent TV production company Diverse Productions.
The system will be broadcast to Sky users through its existing TV signal and will not need an extra box. But it will be designed to complement the digital TV home shopping service British Interactive Broadcasting when it launches next year.
Billinger says: “The establishment of Sky Interactive Programming demonstrates the company’s desire to maximise the potential of the services that Sky provides.”