BSkyB has directly entered the internet TV market with a standalone service that will be available on a cross platform basis.
Now TV launches tomorrow (July 17) and will instantly be available on the PC, Mac and selected Android smart phones. Apple iPhone and iPad will be added in the next month with Xbox to follow alongside YouView. Sony PlayStation and the Roku streaming media player will also have access.
Now TV director Simon Creasey told Broadband TV News that Now TV benefitted in part from the presence of Sky Go, the multiscreen service available to Sky satellite subscribers, but that the new venture was aimed at a very different market.
Asked if the roadmap also included connected TVs, Creasey said the devices would “not be missing for too long”. Users will be able to view their Now TV content on a maximum of two devices, the same as Sky Go, with the ability to stop viewing on one and continue on another in the same place to be introduced in due course.
“Getting onto multiple devices is absolutely critical, where people want to consume content, we want to be there.”
The look and feel for Now TV, consistent across all the devices demonstrated at the Covent Garden launch, is very different to that of Sky itself. The tag line ‘Powered by Sky’ offers the only signpost to the 10.5 million subscriber service.
Creasey said Now TV would appeal to a fresh audience that would be different to the established platform. “They do pay in other ways, so we know there is a definite demand.”
Following a free 30 day trial customers will be able to pay for a Sky Movies pass at £15 (€19.07) per month. This gives access to the 600 movies in the Sky library at any one time, including movie premieres from Disney, Paramount, Fox, Sony, Warner Bros and Universal, in line with the pay-TV window. Another 1,000 movies can be purchased on demand from 99p to £3.49.
It is also possible to stream the Sky Movies service live.
Sky Sports will be added later in the year, including the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, England Test Cricket, Heineken Cup Rugby and ATP Tennis. Sky’s branded channels will follow, though Creasey said the precise pricing has yet to be decided.
Sky will take advantage of variable bandwidth where possible – as this will not initially be available on YouView this will be a standard definition service.
Also, like Sky Go rights restrictions mean there will be no ‘throwing’ of the content from the iPad across to Apple TV.