May 01, 2014

Sky Atlantic on Now TV: price to soar before the end of the current season of Game of Thrones

Those of us who have shelled out £4.99 this month to watch the latest seasons of Game of Thrones and Mad Men legally on Sky Atlantic via the Now TV service are to suffer a 40% price hike before the current seasons finish. Sky is whacking up the price to a ridiculous £6.99 before the end of May. Bloody hell.
The fledgling service, which, after my initial excitement has proven to be a nightly disappointment with its appalling picture quality, buffering, and service outages, is definitely getting cancelled in my household now.
And they wonder why people use bit torrent or usenet...

more info: thinkbroadband

UPDATE: this from Now TV:
Hi Everyone,
Just want to let you know that the price rise is being put on hold.  Entertainment Month Passes will continue to be £4.99 a month, and Sky Movies Month Passes will continue to be £8.99 per month.

We're in the process of updating the entire NOW TV site with this information, but it should all be correct very soon.


Mr Bacon said...

Looks like it's on hold for the time been.

If it did go to £6.99 I would cancel especially as I can get more on Netflix.

sibod said...

Sky seem to be in a difficult position.
They've got Amazon and Netflix at one end of the market with great offerings for not much money, and Virgin, Talk talk, BT and their own platform at the other.

They positioned NowTV as a 'sampler' for those who dont normally subscribe to PayTV, hoping that they would convert to full subscribers to Sky's own platform once we're addicted, while trying to compete with Amazon and Netflix.

The only way to do that is to have attractive pricing - and they've pitched at a price that people can afford.
They tried it on with £16 a month for the Movies, which was the same as Sky Movies on Sky, Virgin etc., but it failed miserably, and they ended up sending countless renewal offers to lapsed free trial subscribers like me.
They in the end had to pitch a more attractive price, and £8.99 was it.
Then they launched the Entertainment pass, and again, they had to compete with two ends of the market - so £4.99 is where the 'trial' sat.

Sky clearly thought they'd try it on during Game of Thrones, considering how popular it is, and hope to get away with massively increasing the pricing.

The problem is, the product Sky are offering just inst all that good.
Yes, you get access to Sky's crown jewels for far les, but as they would readily admit, this is to customers they wouldnt normally attract due to their astronomical package prices and 18 month lock ins.
So they are much more likely to simply cancel and find other ways of getting GoT - now that BlinkBox, Googple Play and Amazon Instant all offer recent series on a pruchase only basis.
Also, the massive issues Sky have had with NowTVs reliablitiy over the last couple of months, along with the short lived box sets, it's, to put it bluntly, ofputting.
Add to that the low quality streams, the lack of Dolby Digital, and the lack of platform compatibility (no Apple TV, no Samsung TV, a 3 device limit with x number of changes a month etc), Sky really need to rethink their policies to attract more people and keep those tha are here!

So this price freeze (for the umpteenth month) is not surprising!