It’s turbulent times for Sky Television at the moment, as 21st Century Fox and Comcast battle over ownership of the company, and an even bigger potential deal with Disney waits in the wings should Fox prevail.
And then it’s seen its television business – particularly its dramas and comedies – come under real test from the growth in streaming services. It’s a charge being led by Netflix, and Sky has already started to react by confirming that it plans to move away from its traditional satellite dishes, and towards a steaming way of delivering its services.
Now, though, it’s gone a step further to try and offset the Netflix threat in particular. It’s playing a game of keeping its enemies closer than its friends, by adding a Netflix option to its Sky Q box software. Netflix access will then be added to customers’ Sky bills as an option, and the idea is to put as much entertainment as possible in one place. For Netflix’s part, it gets instant access to Sky’s heavy installed userbase, even though just a small proportion of them currently use the Sky Q service.
Virgin Media customers have had access to Netflix through their boxes for some time, so this is more a case of Sky playing catch-up at the moment. Netflix will be rolled out on Sky boxes later this year.