High-street shops quit interactive TV

High-street retailers Argos and Woolworths have pulled out of media giant BSkyB's interactive TV venture two years after helping...

High-street retailers Argos and Woolworths have pulled out of media giant BSkyB's interactive TV venture two years after helping to launch the operation.

Both stores will cease trading through the Sky Digital platform at the end of this month. They were the first retailers to sign up to the service and were among the most successful.

Woolworths wants to concentrate on its core business, following disappointing Christmas figures, a company spokeswoman said.

"The BSkyB service had its attractions but we cannot see enough return on investment to justify continuing," she explained. "However, we are not ruling interactive TV out for the future."

Argos said it was pulling out for "commercial reasons" and would now focus its e-commerce activities on its Web site.

The interactive TV venture, initially branded as Open but now known as British Interactive Broadcasting, is worth about £1.9bn. It started as a joint venture with BT, HSBC and Matsushita.

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