BSkyB signs deal with Twitter to show Champions League clips

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's dominant pay-TV provider BSkyB has struck a deal with social networking site Twitter to show clips from European Champions League soccer matches to help promote its new contract-free online service.

The clips will be fed through Twitter's promoted Tweets via cross-platform service Grabyo Studio. They will help to drive additional advertising and sponsorship revenues for the social media network ahead of its highly anticipated initial public offering in New York.

One of the aims for BSkyB is to stimulate interest in its new internet service NOW TV which allows viewers to pay for 24-hour access to content, rather than requiring customers to sign up for the full service which had proved more tricky during the economic downturn.

The service is also being used to help BSkyB retain its lead in the pay TV market after former state telecoms company BT spent heavily to establish itself as a new rival.

"We know that lots of people want access to great Sky Sports content but would rather dip in and out rather than having a full subscription," said Gidon Katz, Director of NOW TV.

"Sharing UEFA Champions League clips in real-time on social platforms helps us to highlight the benefits of instant, pay-as-you-go access to Sky Sports via NOW TV," he added.

The deal follows a successful trial which generated over 570,000 clip views in 12 hours and saw more than 6,000 clips being shared across social networks which reached more than 7 million users.

BT launched a new TV service in August showing Premier League soccer free to its existing broadband customers in a bold attempt to hold on to its core subscribers who had been moving to BSkyB.

(Reporting by Li-mei Hoang; editing by Keith Weir)

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