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24/04/2002

BSkyB announce lastminute.com partnership

British Sky Broadcasting have announced a partnership with online provider of travel and leisure solutions lastminute.com to sell key products through their interactive television service, Sky Active.
Expected to launch this autumn, the deal will extend Sky Active's line-up of retail and travel services, while providing a significant distribution platform for lastminute.com. A wide variety of lastminute.com products - from travel deals to theatre tickets and retail products - will be offered to viewers with up-to-the-minute availability and pricing.
Sky Active is available through digital satellite television in 5.5 million homes across the UK and more than seven million Sky digital viewers used interactive services in 2001. The new customers available through Sky Active will add to lastminute.com's 2.1 million-strong UK newsletter subscribers.
The service will benefit from the faster and simpler navigation offered by Sky's WML microbrowser technology, which allows viewers to use many interactive services without interrupting television viewing.
Jon Florsheim, Managing Director of Sky Interactive, said: "BSkyB looks forward to welcoming one of Europe's best known Internet brands to the UK's leading interactive television service. lastminute.com's high-quality range of travel and entertainment deals will be a valuable addition to the array of products on offer to Sky Active users."
Martha Lane Fox, lastminute.com Group Managing Director said lastminute.com were always looking for "innovative and cost-effective ways that new and existing customers can access its great deals." She said television was a medium well suited to lastminute.com's lifestyle products and using Sky Active as a transaction platform would further build on lastminute.com's multi channel, multi platform strategy.
Based on matching supply and demand, lastminute.com offers consumers last minute opportunities to acquire a variety of services such as airline tickets, hotel rooms, package holidays, and entertainment tickets in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Spain, The Netherlands, Australia and South Africa.
Sky Active incorporates enhanced television applications such as Sky News Active, Sky Sports Active, Sky Movies Active and other consumer services such as email, SMS messaging, games, banking, shopping and betting.
Sky claim more than half of the UK's 15 million digital satellite users have pressed the red or interactive button on the Sky remote.
Discussions are continuing between Sky and other retail partners about the migration of interactive services to the WML platform, following the successful launch of services from Odeon, GAME, Kitbag and Gadgetshop.
Sky Digital, www.sky.com
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