Sky is going to launch an online subscription service for customers to get access to Sky shows online - without having to sign up for the company's satellite subscriptions.

Marking a first for Sky, the service is likely hoping to cash-in on the popularity of the BBC iPlayer, that although different as free to the user, has gotten the UK used to the idea of on-demand programming online.

The online option would allows subscribers to view channels such as Sky1 and Sky Sports on their laptop or computer, through Sky's existing Sky Player platform, that works with both PCs and Macs.

The plans were revealed by Mike Darcey, Sky's chief operating officer, at the Media Guardian Changing Broadcast conference in London. Full details on channel line-up, pricing and launch date have not yet been revealed.