December 15, 2017

Sky Atlantic to Virgin Media at last?

From a Sky press release this morning:
Sky has concluded an agreement with BT which means Sky customers will have their choice of the best sports all through a single Sky TV subscription, while also broadening the reach of Sky’s leading entertainment channel brands to all major Pay-TV services in the UK for the first time.
Under the agreement, Sky will receive wholesale supply of the BT Sport channels enabling it to offer its customers access to every single match of the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League and Europa League shown on Sky and BT channels through one simple Sky contract. This will be the first time Sky is able to provide BT Sport to its customers directly as part of a Sky bundle or on a standalone basis and across all Sky platforms including Sky Go. BT Sport will also be available as an app on NOW TV boxes.
Sky will make its NOW TV streaming service available on the BT TV set-top-box. As retail agent, BT will sell NOW TV on Sky’s behalf, offering BT TV customers access to Now TV’s most popular content including Sky Atlantic, Sky One, Sky Living, Sky Sports and Sky Cinema.
This agreement is a further step in Sky’s strategy to maximise distribution of key channel brands and to monetise its content investment further across all TV platforms. By adding Now TV to the heart of BT’s TV offering, Sky’s portfolio of TV entertainment brands will be available to all UK consumers through each major Pay-TV service, reaching new customers and expanding the appeal of our channels to advertisers.
So far, so mildly interesting, but Sky Chief Exec Jeremy Darroch is quoted as saying:
"UK consumers will have even more ways to watch great Sky entertainment content with our leading portfolio of channels – Sky Atlantic, Sky One and Sky Living – available on all major Pay-TV platforms for the first time.
"This is all part of our stated strategy to enhance our customer offering, to broaden our appeal and to open up new revenue streams for our business.” 
Run that passed me again…did the boss at Sky just say that 'our leading portfolio of channels – Sky Atlantic, Sky One and Sky Living – available on ALL major Pay-TV platforms for the first time'??? There's no arguing that Virgin's TV pay-TV platform is a major one (6m households using VM's services in the UK and Ireland) and Darroch can't tell big fibs on these announcements, so I can only conclude that Sky Atlantic, either as a channel or as part of a VM Now TV offering, is on the way any day now.
(Either that, or Sky reckon that this BT deal and the Sky Q over internet service launching next year will kill Virgin TV once and for all…)

4 comments:

Kevin Lloyd said...

I was also intrigued by this announcement. I think it makes some difference whether the Now TV service is simply made available as an app on the VM platform or whether Sky Atlantic is actually added to the portfolio of available channels (with associated catch up and box sets). If the former, for those already subscribing to Now TV it makes little difference on the assumption that only the facility would be made available. However, if the latter, it would allow recording and also presumably comes with no or only a small further increase in prices (and goodness knows they have gone up enough recently).

Chris Till said...

I can’t imagine many people care at this point.

robert everton said...

If this story is true can someone from vm confirm it please

Andrew Dart said...

When is Sky Atlantic coming to Virgin Media.