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Broadcaster Sky has signed a deal with Microsoft which will allow users to download video content via their broadband connection.

Owners of the Xbox 360 games console will be able to utilise their high-speed internet connection to watch sports and television programmes when the service launches in the autumn.

The agreement, which could operate on a pay-per-view basis, will help Microsoft rival Sony's PlayStation3 system, which currently provides users with BBC iPlayer content.

Stephen Nuttall, Director of Sky's Commercial Group, told the Times: "We are obviously delighted and flattered to be chosen as a partner by Microsoft for this pioneering venture.

"We are confident that there will be a broad range of content roughly comparable to what we offer via a PC."

Microsoft's Xbox 360 is currently the only major games console on the market which does not offer a television-on-demand service.

The corporation revealed earlier this week that worldwide sales of the system had passed the 30 million mark.

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