Sky picks up Netflix challenge with its own OTT video service

Editor ©RapidTVNews | 31-01-2012

With the UK clearly the current big battleground for online TV following the launch of Netflix and an enhanced LOVEFiLM, Sky has entered the fray with its own over the top (OTT) service aimed at those who currently don’t subscribe to pay-TV.
The new move comes just as the DTH satellite pay-TV giant reported record half yearly results and had beefed up its VOD proposition with the inclusion of the ITV Player and most notably the iPlayer from fellow TV 800-lb gorilla the BBC.
Yet looking beneath the record revenues and robust profits, made more impressive by the continuing inclement economic conditions in the UK, it would appear that Sky’s overall subscriber base has plateaued at just over the 10 million mark with customer churn at around 10%.
In ambitious plan to do more than sweat its existing assets, and cannibalise Virgin Media pay-TV base of just over 3 million customers, Sky’s new online video service will be marketed as an additional choice for people who don’t currently subscribe to a pay TV service. It will aim to take advantage of what Sky sees as the rapid growth in broadband-connected devices to offer non-subscription–paying TV viewers the ability to access, sometime in the first half of 2012, a range of Sky content including from launch hundreds of films from Sky Movies. The company says it will them expand the offering to encompass sport and entertainment soon afterwards. There are no indications as yet as to whether this will include the key Premier League and Champions League football content with which the core Sky bundle has proved so attractive.
Available across a range of connected devices—including PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and connected TVs—customers will be able to pay monthly for unlimited access to Sky Movies or rent a single movie on a, pay-as-you-go basis.