January 31, 2011

Interesting Sky Atlantic article

Media analysts believe there's little evidence that people subscribe on the strength of a single channel. "Sky Atlantic is part of a chain of value, aimed at convincing people TV is worth paying for," says one analyst. "It's about [putting] clear blue water between pay and free TV. It's not so much a driver of dish sales as a retention tool … as well as justifying future price rises [...]
What does the launch mean for rival pay-TV providers? Virgin Media stresses that Sky has talked about "wholesaling" Sky Atlantic to other platforms, while also pointing to the continued availability of channels such as FX.
In fact the strongest short-term competitive impact of Sky Atlantic – when allied to Sky's acquisition of Living and an increased budget for Sky1 – may be on the acquisition strategies of other broadcasters; its lineup contains shows previously aired free-to-air, including Entourage (ITV2), Curb Your Enthusiasm (More4) and Big Love (Channel 5). "The fear for everyone else is how much other stuff Sky will hoover up," says one senior free-to-air broadcaster, who emphasises how vulnerable hit acquisitions are to poaching and price hikes. Sky, the executive suggests, is now the only UK broadcaster with the capacity to do sizeable studio output deals.
The full article is worth a read. For one thing, it emphasises that the Sky strategy is to lure the Freeview/Freesat audience rather than the Virgin Media one, probably with the intention of upselling broadband and phone services once they are hooked with the TV.
Sky Atlantic HD launches on the Sky platform exclusively tomorrow.


baw said...

The thing is though Tv shows can only become popular if the majority can see them i.e. free

Only once they are popular will Sky hoover them up.

Usually by that point those shows have "jumped the shark" - novelty wears off/ storylines become stale.

brooza said...

Admittedly not HD related, but have you/your insiders heard anything about Premier Sports coming to Virgin?

brooza said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moroboshi said...

Sky/Murdoch really are poison for the UK TV industry. Their model is to wait for someone else to make something successful, then steal it and lock it behind a pay wall. It's incredibly obnoxious and it's truly sad that so many in this country seem oblivious to Murdoch's business practices.

If Murdoch continues to get his way the BBC will be destroyed and all we'll be left with is US drama behind a pay wall, and a bunch of brain dead reality TV and other dross for the masses.

Nialli said...

Imagine the outcry if Sky bought Coronation Street...

sibod said...

Its worth noting, though, that Sky's domestic productions are, with only a handful of exceptions, very low brow and cheap and cheerful efforts, usually directly copying terrestrial headliners.

What our terrestrial broadcasters need to do more of, is invest in co-productions with the US.

Take Episodes, or Torchwood, Primeival, for example.
Cut the costs, get it sold to the US audience - thus bigger budgets and ergo can afford bigger name writing talent and acting, and keep the likes of Sky from poaching it in the future.

Sky have to buy stuff that's already popular so they can drive new subscriptions - otherwise people would just not even bother finding out wether somthing is worth watching.

Would you watch lost without knowing what it's about if you had to pay?

That's their strategy.

BikeNutt said...

I've never "torrented" before but yesterday I acquired Blue Bloods as, and correct me if I'm wrong, it's the only way a VM customer can watch it?

Not blaming VM for that by the way.

Nialli said...

Not sure about Blue Bloods being available anywhere legitimately yet. It's on a mid-season break in the US so the DVD could be a while off.