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BSkyB integrates VOD into EPG

UK pay-TV leader BSkyB says the EPG for its “pull VOD” service called Anytime Plus has proved so popular that it is bringing it into a new EPG for all content within its premium Sky+HD service.

The on-demand material will be integrated into the landing page for particular genres, giving customers a snapshot of the different viewing options available to them. Customers of Sky Movies customers will be able to choose between viewing films live, pre-recorded or on-demand via Sky Anytime Plus. The update will be part of a phased roll-out throughout the rest of 2012, scaling up over the period.

The Sky Anytime+ VOD service was launched in October 2010, adding VOD delivered on demand over broadband to the already existing Sky Anytime satellite-based push-VOD service.

Sky’s TV brand director Luke Bradley-Jones pointed out that its customers interact with the EPG on average a total of 1.2 billion times a month, and given that level of activity, any update had to be considered carefully.

“That is why we take a great deal of care when we come to think about how we might further improve the EPG for our customers, since providing an intuitive, easy-to-use EPG is a critical factor in us helping our customers get the most they can out of their Sky subscription,” Bradley-Jones wrote in a blog.

He pointed out that one of the key changes customers will notice is that page design will reflect the increasing popularity of on-demand viewing. Sky Anytime+ is now available to the 5 million homes with a Sky+HD box through any internet connection.

Sky currently has just over 10 million UK pay TV customers in total.