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BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) is adding its channel lineup to 3’s mobile TV offering in the UK. The satcaster’s channels were already available through services offered by Orange, T-Mobile, Vodafone and in O2’s now-finished mobile TV trial since 2005. Now the News Corp (NYSE: NWS) unit is bringing the channels to customers of the Hutch subsidiary, priced £5. Sky also does VOD over mobile but its 30 live linear channels have over 200,000 subscribers; it says the news and sports channels are most popular on mobile.
The interesting part for mobile enthusiasts – Sky is routing the channels “off-portal”, meaning the stream will not come via the operator’s network but over Sky’s own infrastructure, managed by video delivery network Vidiator. The press releases admits: “This will mean that data will not be zero rated; the service will prompt customers to consider taking an internet add-on in advance of streaming videos – internet add-ons are available from £2.50 a month for 10Mb of data.” So that might seem like a disadvantage to consumers, but it’s in keeping with Sky’s strategy to take control of its mobile assets – last week, it won control of its mobile ads back from T-Mobile and Vodafone.