Having dominated the traditional UK pay-TV market for nearly 20 years, Sky is aiming for similar market grab at new media launching Sky Go which will give its customers the opportunity to watch its content on PCs, laptops, mobiles and tablets at no extra charge.
Launching on 6 July 2011, Sky Go is a both a rebranding and amalgam of Sky Player, Sky's existing online TV service, and Sky Mobile TV, which has grown to be the UK's largest mobile TV service. Sky will also remain available on Xbox and Fetch TV, but will rebrand simply as Sky from its current Sky Player brand.
Packaged as Sky Go, the offerings are aimed squarely across multiple devices such as the iPhone, iPad, PC and Mac.
Each Sky home will be entitled to register up to two devices, through which they can enjoy access to live channels and selected on-demand content. Going forward from the initial launch, Sky Go will be supported by Sky's The Cloud public Wi-Fi network across the UK.
The number of Sky channels available to Sky Go users will differ, at least initially, according to each platform.
On mobile and tablet devices, customers will be able to access all five Sky Sports channels, ESPN and Sky News, with further channels to be added over time. For laptops and the PC platform, customers will be able to access more than 30 live channels, including all five Sky Sports channels, Sky Movies, Sky News, Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts, MTV, Disney, G.O.LD, Nickelodeon, NatGeo, History, Eden and ESPN, supported by on-demand content.
Once it has given its own regular subscribers the chance to top up with a free mobile and online TV option, Sky Go will be made available to non-Sky TV customers from August with monthly subscriptions priced from £15-£40.
Commenting on the launch, Stephen van Rooyen, Deputy MD of Sky's Customer Group, said: “The explosion of smartphones and tablets demonstrates the increasing consumer demand for accessing entertainment and communicating on the move... Clearly the consumer appetite is there, and it's growing.”