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BT and Sky UK Reach Agreement to Supply Premium TV Channels

Friday, December 15th, 2017 (7:47 am) - Score 2,849
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After years of disagreement it has this morning been announced that BT and Sky have finally settled their long-running dispute over access to premium TV channels, which means that customers of both operators in the UK will soon gain access to a much wider array of content. But not until “early” 2019.

Currently, BT TV customers can only buy Sky Sports Main Event as a bolt-on to their TV service for £27.50 per month, and are not able to choose from the full range of Sky Sports channels. Today’s agreement changes this and means that they will soon be able to take all 11 Sky Sports channels, as well as a NOW TV Entertainment Pass (channels including Sky Living, Sky One, Sky Atlantic, Discover, SyFy etc.) as part of “competitively priced bundles.”

Sky will also make the full NOW TV service (app) available on BT TV’s YouView (IPTV) based set-top-box hardware and thus BT will be able to sell subscriptions to NOW TV’s great passes directly to customers. Meanwhile BT has agreed to wholesale their BT Sport channels to Sky for their Satellite customers (expect some big bundles).

BT Sport will also become available as an app on NOW TV boxes and Sky customers will be able to access BT Sport through Sky Go.

Gavin Patterson, CEO of BT, said:

“This is an important day for BT and for our customers, who will be able to enjoy a whole range of Sky’s sport and entertainment programming on their BT TV boxes.

This is the next logical step for our TV and content strategy. Having built up an outstanding portfolio of exclusive sports rights and a loyal base of customers, we feel that now is the right time to broaden the ways in which we distribute BT Sport.

This agreement fits with our strategic goal of being the best provider in the UK of converged network services, and adding NOW TV boosts our growing roster of outstanding content from the likes of Netflix, great pay channels like AMC and all the major catch-up services.”

Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Group CEO, said:

“This is great news for Sky customers who will be able to access all matches on Sky and BT channels from the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Europa League directly with a single Sky TV subscription and with the great customer service that we provide.

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.”

The bad news is that the “new” services will NOT be available to customers until early 2019.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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11 Responses
  1. Auntie Claire

    Or save yourself some serious cash and subscribe to neither of these for your footy and movie needs. Buy yourself a MAG 256 iptv box and subscribe to a half decent iptv service such as http://www.necroiptv.com and say goodbye to BT Sport & Sky TV forever 🙂

  2. occasionally factual

    I wonder if the fact that Sky are currently under a Competition and Markets Authority investigation is why they are playing nice with BT?

  3. Bob2002

    Got to be honest I don’t understand people who watch lots of entertainment TV, once you reach adulthood you’ve seen every variation film and TV drama can dredge up, comedy also becomes fairly predictable and lazy. Sporting events are a bit better, but in moderation. I had access to the full package of satellite channels for ages but really couldn’t find much worth watching beyond the news – I just didn’t use the channels I was paying for.

    • JustAnotherFileServer

      I think most people don’t watch the 500 odd channels they get with the likes of Sky, I know I didn’t when I had Sky. I now have Freesat, but have the Entertainment package with NowTV for £2.99 per month (got it for that price when after the first month I selected cancel and was offered it for a reduced price). People must be out of their mind to pay what Sky demand from people these days.

  4. Liam

    A lot of websites are billing this as a great thing for BT as customers will get Sky Atlantic. Sky Atlantic is becoming full of Sky’s rubbish series which try to be too stylish with the production values of a uni drama class. All Sky will do is repeat what they did with Virgin, offer back channels like Sky 1 and and then shift any decent programming over to a new channel which Virgin didn’t have the agreement to.

    Isn’t the HBO deal coming to an end soon? HBO are wanting to push their brand globally and go direct to compete with the likes of Netflix with their own subscription services. Wouldn’t surprise me if this happens.

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