Sony Europe expects to play a central role in the European market for interactive digital television after signing a strategic alliance with the Canal Plus subsidiary Canal Plus Technologies (CPT).

The agreement will allow Sony to use the interactive digital TV platform developed by CPT, Mediahighway Consumer Electronics, which corresponds to the Digital Video Broadcasting - Multimedia Home Platform standard.

Sony Europe plans to market home electronics on the basis of this platform in the European market. In addition, Sony Europe and CPT intend to collaborate on a range of services and ways of developing the market in the field of digital television.

Commenting on the alliance, Sony Europe President and COO Jean-Michel Perbet declared that the two partners will work "decisively at being quicker in bringing the key products for digital television onto the market".

As from the beginning of 2001, digital television on the basis of DVB-MHP will enter its implementation phase in Europe, according to Sony.