Google, Sky team for new broadband services

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LONDON -- U.K. satcaster British Sky Broadcasting and Internet giant Google said Wednesday that they are teaming to launch Web-based services to Sky's broadband customers.

The wide-ranging set of multiyear pacts between the two outfits aims "to create a compelling and customized experience for Sky Broadband customers," the parties said.

Sky becomes Google's first partner globally to deploy Google's suite of search, advertising, communications and video services, all of which will be tailored and branded for Sky's fast-growing broadband platform.

The satcaster aims to ensure that broadband customers obtain "customized access to the full benefits of Google's evolving suite of innovative products for PC, TV and mobile."

Sky and Google will collaborate across three key sectors: video, communications and search and advertising, the parties said.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned U.K. satellite operator said it plans to launch a multiplatform User Generated Video portal -- currently dominated by Google-owned YouTube and MySpace -- powered by the first global deployment of Google's syndicated video content tools.

Sky Broadband customers also will be offered access to a comprehensive online communications platform including Google Mail, which will use the popular '@sky.com' e-mail address.

Finally, Google is expected to provide its search tools and targeted search advertising across Sky's portfolio of online sites.

Sky chief executive James Murdoch said the Google pact "will bring Sky customers a valuable set of services from the world's leading search company, including cutting edge tools for video sharing and communications."

Murdoch described Google as a pioneer in Web development and expressed delight that Sky Broadband customers "will be the very first online community to enjoy such unrivaled range and quality as well as a commitment to further innovation."

Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said in a statement: "Today's alliance with Sky brings together two of the most innovative media and technology companies for the benefit of users. We will be delivering exciting new services for Sky Broadband customers all over the U.K. We're delighted to team up with Sky in one of the world's most dynamic markets and we look forward to working together in the years to come."

Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

Sky announced the launch of its broadband Internet service, Sky Broadband in July this year.
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