BSkyB is launching an online-only subscription service to Sky channels and on-demand content. The Sky Player is already available to Sky TV subscribers but this is the first time the satellite operator has launched a standalone internet service.
The internet-only package follows Sky’s attempts to launch a pay-TV service, Sky Picnic, on Freeview, which has since been put on hold. Sky Picnic, which was to launch in place of Sky’s existing Freeview channels bundled with broadband and phone services, was first outlined in January last year. However, it has yet to meet Ofcom approval.
Customers will be able to choose from a number of Sky Player online subscription packages, including Sky’s most popular channel brands as well as a selection of channels from other broadcasters.
The service is expected to launch “within months”, with channels added to the line-up over time.
The plans were announced today (November 10) by chief operating officer Mike Darcey. He says: “While the laptop won’t replace the TV experience for most people, we’re creating more choices to allow customers to choose the option that suits their lifestyle.”
Sky relaunched its online service to existing subscribers in May this year, rebranding from Sky Anytime on PC to Sky Player to capitalise on the success of the BBC iPlayer.
Last month Sky announced it had added another 87,000 pay-TV customers, its highest growth during its first quarter for five years, bringing its total customer numbers to more than 9 million.