Sky launches standalone entertainment brand

BSkyB is launching a second entertainment brand called Picnic that will offer broadband, phone and television services. Picnic is aimed at the “value” end of the market and will allow consumers to sign up as many of the three services as they want and in any combination.

The launch of the standalone brand confirms speculation that Sky planned to launch a standalone broadband service. It announced plans to launch a subscription service on Freeview earlier this year but it was scuppered by Ofcom, which launched a consultation into plans and it is not expected to rule until after the new year.

Sky is attempting to allay concerns by working with a number of set-top box providers to include ‘Picnic’ technology, allowing consumers to upgrade to Sky at a later date.

Sky says that Picnic represents an “attractive commercial opportunity”. BSkyB chief executive, James Murdoch (pictured), adds: “The launch of Picnic will be a big step forward for customers who are hungry for value and simplicity.”

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