MEDIA: Sky News Online eager to develop content link-ups

Sky News Online is looking for content deals on its health and

technology channels to mirror this week's personal finance tie-up with

FT.com.



The broadcaster is in talks with two parties: an unnamed publisher

regarding the provision of business and technology content, and a health

media group about a potential agreement to provide health news for the

BSkyB website.



The tentative moves are part of the group's attempt to expand its online

offering, which also includes showbusiness news and politics.



Steve Bennedik, who was appointed editor of Sky News Interactive at the

end of August, would not reveal more about the discussions.



However, he confirmed more partnerships would follow: 'We are trying to

find a blend that satisfies us both (commercially and editorially),' he

said.



FTyourmoney, the UK personal finance channel of FT.com, is providing a

site - Your Money - available at sky.com/news. Sky users can access news

stories as well as information on credit cards, insurance, loans, ISAs,

investments, banking, savings and mortgages.



'This is going to give something of real value to people. It is about

interesting content that gives us more depth,' Bennedik said.



Bennedik's remit takes in interactive and text services as well as

online, and he has a deputy editor on each platform. He said PROs have

provided valuable background material on various issues and have helped

break stories.



Online tends to have a twentysomething audience looking for

entertainment at lunchtime, while News Active is watched by older

viewers in the mornings and evenings, he said: 'I tend to let Online be

more irreverent, showbizzy and poppy.'



Other services will be forthcoming, he added. 'We are breaking down the

barriers between broadcast and online but have got to take a pragmatic

approach. Broadband hasn't taken off, it is only available to 70,000

homes in this country.'



Bennedik launched Sky News Active, the interactive element of Sky News,

in June 2000. Before that he was executive producer on the channel's

Live at 5 programme.



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