BSkyB sets interactive soccer date

BSkyB has announced that the new Sky Sports Extra Channel will be airing its first interactive TV match on August 22

The first interactive TV match on BSkyB’s new Sky Sports Extra channel will be Arsenal versus Manchester United on August 22.

The channel, which is the world’s first interactive sports service, allows viewers to watch a game from camera angles of their own choice. It also lets fans select highlights, replays, match statistics and other sports news using a TV handset.

BSkyB’s announcement of the first interactive fixture is in response to pay-TV rival ONdigital’s revelation on Tuesday that its &£265m, five-year deal with governing body UEFA allows it to show all 157 Champions’ League games free of charge.

The digital terrestrial TV service, jointly owned by Granada and Carlton, will show more football than any other this season as it steps up its battle against BSkyB.

Sky Sports Extra is an additional free channel for digital subscribers who already pay to receive Sky Sports 1 and 2. The service covers Premiership, Nationwide League and England international matches.

Sky Sports Extra will initially provide four different camera angles from which to view a game. However, insiders say that, as the service develops, as many as six more will be added next year.

The extra angles and services can be accessed through the handset already provided with SkyDigital set-top boxes.

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