– Service to launch in first half 2012
– Will offer films without a subscription or satellite dish
– Sport will be available shortly after launch
– Customers can ‘pay and go’ for Sky content
– Will work via smartphones, web TVs, games consoles and tablets such as iPad
Broadcaster BSkyB announced a new internet TV service today which will allow British households to pay to download films without a contract or a satellite dish.
It will launch in the first half of this year, and quickly expand to offer sport and entertainment from Sky’s premium channels
The service will be aimed at the 13 million households who do not subscribe to pay-TV – and will also allow Sky to fight back against high-profile web-TV services Netflix, Lovefilm and the upcoming YouView.
The new service will work via smartphones and tablets, internet-connected ‘smart’ TVs and games consoles.
Sky’s TV sales will face growing competition with the launch in the summer of YouView, an internet-connected set-top box involving the BBC, ITV and BT.
And the recent expansion into the UK of Netflix, which allows customers to pay to download movies, and the Lovefilm download and rental business adds a further threat to satellite TV’s former monopoly on providing films and premium TV channels.
The new service was announced as Sky revealed a further slowdown in the number of households that signed up to its TV services to 40,000 in the three months to December 31, down from 140,000 in the same period a year ago.
Sky also announced it is to create 1,300 jobs over the next two years in the UK and Ireland as it brings more of its customer service and installation work in-house and opens a new service centre in Dublin.
BC’s iPlayer catch-up TV services will also be coming to Sky customers later this year.
It will play through normal Sky HD boxes.
The catch-up TV service will be available via the AnyTime Plus internet TV service.
Anytime Plus is available to Sky customers with broadband internet, and delivers on-demand TV shows and catch-up content via the internet.
Users of the service will now also be able to access ITV’s equivalent ITV Player service, which will offer on-demand shows such as Cold Feet, Prime Suspect and Lewis from tomorrow.
The full version of ITV Player and BBC iPlayer will be available later this year.
Sky Anytime is free to Sky subscribers and provides access to a wide range of on-demand content including movies, entertainment, documentaries and drama ‘box sets’.
Sky customers who use Sky broadband can currently access the service – but Sky announced today that it is making the service available to all internet users with a broadband connection.