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Sky Looking at TV Service Without Satellite Dish

Gordon Kelly


Exclusive: Sky Looking at TV Services Without A Satellite Dish

Is this the biggest shake up at Sky since it launched more than 20 years ago?

In news which is likely to send shockwaves through the UK broadcast sector, we can exclusively reveal Sky is looking to launch new television services which don't require customers to have a satellite dish.

Sources close to the media giant have confirmed to us it is looking at two brand new distribution methods. The first via "a new set top box supplied by Sky connected to your Freeview aerial and broadband connection" that offers the option of "full Sky+ functionality". The second the expansion of its existing Sky Player online service to non-Sky customers.

The slides above and below are being used as part of an ultra secret set of surveys Sky is testing with select customers and detail the plans, which will include bolt-on channel packages much like its existing satellite packages. Interestingly both services can be cancelled at any time, but do require customers to take out 12 month Sky Broadband and Sky Talk packages, which mirror the prerequisites of the Anytime Plus on-demand functionality it revealed for Sky+ HD subscribers last week.

Provisional pricing sees Sky Player services start from just £5 per month with the new settop box service priced from £10pm, though entry level Sky Broadband (2Mbit) and Sky Talk subscriptions will add a further £10pm to that total. On the plus side Sky Talk does include free evening and weekend UK landline calls.

With this news coming to us late on Sunday night we have been unable to get hold of Sky representatives for an official statement, but we shall update this news story when we do.

More slides can be seen on page two...


June 7, 2010, 4:34 am

Sky have been offering Sky Player to those without a dish for a while now:


This sounds as if Sky might be producing a new Freeview box which can be used to access their online content via the Sky+ interface. That's pretty nifty, and if it's done right the integration between both sources could be seamless.

Tim Sutton

June 7, 2010, 4:41 am

Gordon. Please PLEASE tell me you didn't find these left in a bar. It won't end well.

A decent value phone and broadband package that lets you also add Sky Sports for a month whenever you feel like it.. and no dish. This is going to be very popular.

Grandparents and holiday let owners will be all over this.

Any idea how or if the service would work in TV areas only receiving the public service multiplexes?


June 7, 2010, 5:30 am

Sky already offer TV services without a dish - via Xbox if anyone remembers,

...though there is a reason people have probably forgotten about this, and that's because the pricing for people who aren't already with sky is a right gouging.

if what Gordon is reporting is true, I can only hope that it leads to better pricing for XBL sky TV.


June 7, 2010, 10:50 am

@Chris - thanks for the update

@Tim - I suspect the same issues would exist as for those with Freeview. A satellite solves reception issues, but obviously it isn't for everyone.

@theory28 - yes that's a good point, but clearly not everyone wants to own an Xbox or watch via their PC so I'd say a more comprehensive alternative to Freeview would be welcome.


June 7, 2010, 12:18 pm

This sounds quite good and it fits in nicely with their virgin media acquisition.

Now if only their broadband service wast absolute rubbish, then this would be perfect.


June 7, 2010, 1:51 pm

Is the picture quality going to be any better than the current Sky player (which is to say, as-bad-as-freeview awful)? Unless that is the case AND they support HD, I can't really see the thing taking off.


June 7, 2010, 2:11 pm

sky sports news is a pay channel??? (its on freeview!)


June 7, 2010, 4:38 pm

@kaworu1986: Seeing as the new Anytime Plus service won't be carrying HD for the foreseeable future, I don't think Sky's VoD quality will be improving any time soon.

However, I don't think that would be major stumbling block for Sky as most consumers seem to care more about the content than its quality. Just look at the popularity of 128kbps music, the iPod's market share, the ubiquity of lousy bundled earphones, the death of SACD and DVD-Audio, the prevalence of HDTVs used without an HD source, lacklustre Blu-Ray sales, etc., etc....


June 7, 2010, 4:55 pm

Is this win-win for Freeview & Sky - Freeview sell more boxes, and Sky get their services to more people - or am I missing something?


June 7, 2010, 6:31 pm

Considering every TV is or soon will be a Freeview TV, I don't think Freeview benefits from it at all. Sky benefits as they can put channels and services on there, that are not theirs, without paying for them.

Ala Miah

June 8, 2010, 3:18 am

Being made to have sky bb and talk is a deal breaker for me.

im happy with 7.50 per month o2 8mb and bt (quarterly bills).

Sky only to premium services!


June 8, 2010, 11:25 pm

I'm tempted to see this as good news - except for my belief that the Murdochs are the single greatest threat to humanity in the history of the world.


June 13, 2010, 2:20 pm

l completely agree with Mr Godfrey.


June 14, 2010, 5:33 pm

I think Sky intend pulling Sky News and Sky Sports News off free-to-view Freeview. Freeview doesn't seem such an accurate description of terrestrial digital TV any more.

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