Sky on IPTV box from next year

15 October, 2009

Sky’s movies and Premier League football will be available via an IPTV set-top box from early next year, after the satellite company struck a deal with manufacturer Fetch TV.

The launch of Sky Player on the IPTV platform will make all the Sky sports channels and Sky Movies 1 and 2 accessible to viewers who do not have a satellite dish, but want to watch the content on their TVs, rather than computers.

The Fetch box also provides the Freeview channels and gives users access to BBC iPlayer on their TVs. The BBC is talking to Fetch about a version of iPlayer designed specifically for its box.

Eddie Abrams, chief executive of Fetch owner IP Vision, told Broadcast: “This is a transformational deal because it gives people easy access to Sky content without a satellite dish.”

Customers will pay a one-off £219 for the Fetch box, which launched last November, and then subscribe to a Sky package on a month-by-month and occasionally a pay-per-view basis, rather than taking out a full contract.

BSkyB director of on-demand Griff Parry said: “As more commercial players harness broadband distribution to extend consumer choice, there’s an opportunity for all content owners to reach new audiences. “

The Sky/Fetch tie-up comes well ahead of Canvas, the IPTV joint venture between the BBC, ITV, BT and Five, to which Sky has raised objections. Canvas is expected to launch no earlier than late 2010.