BSkyB signs $15m tie-up with Zeebox

BSKYB has acquired 10 per cent of social TV network Zeebox in a move that grants the broadcaster exclusive rights to use the two-month-old start-up’s technology in its own apps.

While no sum was officially disclosed, Zeebox chief executive Ernesto Schmitt tweeted that BSkyB parted with more than $15m (£9.7m) in the deal.

Co-created by BBC iPlayer developer Anthony Rose, Zeebox allows the TV watcher to see what other viewers are tuned into and connect with them via Twitter or Facebook, find information about programmes, buy products seen on-screen and search popular topics.

While Zeebox remains an independent company – its app and website will continue to be available to non-Sky customers – this investment from BSkyB will fund the social media network’s global expansion.

Schmitt said: “Thanks to Sky’s backing we now also have the resources and expertise to set our sights firmly on international expansion alongside further innovation here in the UK.”

Emma Lloyd, Sky’s director of emerging products, said: “Millions of our customers have smartphones and tablets and regularly use them to engage with Sky on mobile devices, so it’s a natural next step for us.”