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Sky Say Goodbye to NOW TV Combo and Hello NOW Broadband

Thursday, January 25th, 2018 (4:36 pm) - Score 13,915

Sky’s sibling NOW TV video streaming platform has announced that UK customers will soon be able to take their contract-free broadband ISP and phone service, albeit without needing to bundle it alongside TV as part of a “Combo“. A new NOW TV Smart Stick (Roku) is also being introduced.

As most people know, NOW TV is owned by Sky and offers a useful little broadband-based video streaming service to those who don’t want to be tied down to the full Sky TV product. Customers who join NOW TV get access to some of the most popular premium live TV channels (Sky Atlantic, FOX, Sky One, SyFy etc.) and related video-on-demand content via the purchase of monthly “Passes” (Entertainment Pass, Sky Cinema Pass, Sports etc.).

On top of that customers were also able to take out a NOW TV Combo, which allowed them to bundle in a broadband (ADSL2+ or FTTCfibre“) and phone service with the streaming TV product, which didn’t tie you into a fixed contract term but naturally cost a little extra. But all this is about to change.

No More Combo

Firstly, over the next few weeks the NOW TV Combo bundles will stop being sold and these will be replaced with a standalone broadband product, which is simply called NOW Broadband. The good news is that this will remain contract-free and the price should start at £18 per month (inc. line rental) for speeds of up to 17Mbps (unlimited usage, payg calls and a router will be included), while £25 will get you ‘up to’ 38Mbps and £35 for 76Mbps.

As before customers will also be able to choose between either a 12-month contract, which only attracts a £15 one-off activation fee, or a rolling (contract-free) plan with a £50 upfront charge. On top of that you’ll also have to pay £9.99 for the router delivery. Overall the pricing actually looks more attractive than the standard prices for Sky Broadband’s packages but we’ll have to wait and see exactly what the small print says.

At this point we don’t have an exact launch date, although ISPreview.co.uk has been told that the NOW TV website will stop advertising Combo’s from 31st January 2018 next week.

A New Smart Stick

The other big change is that NOW TV is to start selling their new Smart Stick, which is a little WiFi equipped video streaming device that you can plug directly into your TV’s HDMI port. Once again this is based off Roku’s own hardware and includes their Voice Search technology. It’s expected to cost £14.99 to buy at retail (various bundles with NOW TV Passes will also be offered at extra cost).

The NOW TV Smart Stick will also let you pause live TV on all their premium channels including Sky Sports, FOX, Comedy Central and Sky Atlantic.

Gidon Katz, Managing Director of NOW TV, said:

“If you’re looking for a flexible way to stream great TV, contract free, our plug-and-play NOW TV Smart Stick is the cheapest in the UK. Just add one of our content passes to stream premium live sports, binge over 300 Box Sets, watch a new movie premiere every day, or keep the family entertained with thousands of kids episodes.”

Elsewhere NOW TV has also announced that it will be rolling out downloads to the NOW TV app across mobile devices for its kids, entertainment and cinema passes, starting with the Kids Pass this spring.

By the end of the year NOW TV also revealed that it will be introducing the option of streaming NOW TV both live and on-demand in full HD (on-demand is already HD but streaming quality has tended to be weaker), with content from the likes of Sky Atlantic, Sky One and Sky Sports. Sadly there’s no mention of 4K support.

The Smart Stick also supports the usual BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and All 4 channels, plus you can download over 50 apps including YouTube, Sky Store and Vevo etc. This is much the same as other Roku streaming devices.

UPDATE 4:43pm

We’ve had it confirmed that NOW Broadband will indeed launch on 31st Jan and there may also be a special offer, which means that those taking NOW Broadband should be able to take the NOW TV Entertainment Pass for just £4.99 per month instead of the usual £7.99 (provided you sign-up through the right promotion).

In terms of the monthly prices, those taking a 12 month contract will pay £18 per month for the 17Mbps service (£25.99 after the first 12 months), £25 for 38Mbps (£35.99 thereafter) or £35 for 76Mbps (£43.99 thereafter). By comparison the no-contract packages will be priced the same as the post-12 month prices above. You can also add Evening & Weekend calls for £4 and Anytime for £8.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Avatar Bob2002 says:

    Weird how we’ve become normalised to 12 and 18 month FTTC contracts after moving from rolling ADSL products.

    1. Avatar Web Dude says:

      I know some niche firms offered monthly rolling contracts such as AAISP, IDnet, Vivaciti, Zen.

      (I’m assuming unlimited data, for a home user here, rather than business-only services).

      I do admit to being out of touch with lots of other offerings, however 🙂

    2. Avatar Simon says:

      AAISP has always been minimum 6 months on ADSL – and 12 on FTTC but that’s set to change I am told

  2. Avatar Web Dude says:

    For all the years I’ve had ADSL (since 2001 February), the majority of services I’ve signed up for have had a minimum of 18 months and a minority, 12 months, and then afterwards, on to rolling monthly contract.

    1. Avatar Web Dude says:

      meant it in response to Bob

      but also meant to add that I have been with
      Freeserve – UKFSN – Plus.Net – PO Broadband

      (+ Three data-only 15 GB/month for 4 years, but 12 months to start)

  3. Avatar spurple says:

    What I really want to know is when they will offer full HD at good bitrates (and some 5.1 sound too) .

  4. Avatar Matthew Williams says:

    Wasn’t Sky meant to be laughing Sky Q via internet this year as well ?

  5. Avatar Curious says:

    Been with Now TV for a little under a year now on their 38 Mbps ‘Combo’ FTTC/entertainment package. Have to say, I’m pretty please with it. I’ve got movies on top, so £40 a month all in for pretty much everything I used watch on Sky (paying about £35 p/m just for the TV) is a decent price, I feel. I probably should have went on their contract tariff (paying £15) but thought as I was only trying it out didn’t want to commit, so paid £40 for the monthly package. No complaints, and won’t be leaving for a while yet!

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