BSkyB responds to OTT, VOD rivals with NBCUniversal content agreement extension

Editor | 06-11-2012

With its competition for the UK on demand and over the op market intensifying, thanks mainly to the rise of LOVEFiLM and Netflix, BSkyB has extended the channel carriage rights to NBCUniversal content in the UK.
The new multi-year licensing agreement with NBCU encompasses exclusive television rights in the UK and Ireland to current, upcoming and library feature films from NBCUniversal for Sky Movies. Sky Movies customers will have an exclusive window of subscription access to NBCUniversal titles after they have ended their run in UK cinemas.

All films will be made available to the multiplatform Sky Go service as well as in High Definition and 3D where available. In addition, Sky has entered a separate agreement with Universal Networks International (UNI) to extend the availability of UNI’s television channels on Sky’s subscription TV packages. Furthermore, directly fending off the OTT rivals, all titles will also be included in the licensing agreement will also be available for Sky’s NOW TV offering which offers access to Sky Movies across PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, YouView, Xbox and selected Android smartphones. Significantly and very pragmatically, Sky Movies subscribers on Virgin Media, UPC and TalkTalk will also be able to access the NBCUniversal content.
In terms of content, Sky Movies says that it will be the first subscription service in the UK and Ireland to screen Snow White & the Huntsman, Battleship, Ted, The Bourne Legacy, ParaNorman and Savages. Upcoming releases that are also part of the agreement include Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, The Man With The Iron Fists, Despicable Me 2 and About Time.
There will also be exclusive subscription accessto NBCUniversal titles including Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, American Pie, Mamma Mia, Gladiator and Scarface.The carriage deal will also enable Sky customers to view NBCU’s portfolio of channels on Sky, including shows such as Rookie Blue, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Cold Case on Universal Channel; Keeping up with the Kardashians, Fashion Police and Chelsea Lately on E! Entertainment Television; and Continuum, Warehouse 13 and Haven on Syfy. Other channels included in the carriage agreement include The Style Network and Movies 24.
Sky Media, Sky’s advertising and sponsorship sales house, will continue to represent NBCU’s channels.
Commenting on the deal, Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Moviessaid: “We are delighted to be able to announce an extension of our long-standing relationship with NBCUniversal. Sky Movies customers will enjoy the biggest and best selection of movies on their terms - and at least a year ahead of any other subscription service.”
Belinda Menendez, President, NBCUniversal International Television Distribution and Universal Networks International,added: “We are very proud of the NBCUniversal portfolio of titles and channels represented by these two separate agreements. Sky customers will now have access to hit films such as Snow White and the Huntsman, The Bourne Legacy and Ted, in addition to a broad range of high-calibre programming on our bouquet of branded channels.”