Sky has said that its upcoming internet-based on-demand service NOW TV could also be carried on the YouView platform.
Speaking at the Future of Entertainment Summit in London on June 20, BSkyB’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Darcey said that Sky would assess the situation after YouView’s launch (due later in 2012) to see whether NOW TV could be one of its content providers.
NOW TV is almost certain to be up and running before the official launch of the long-delayed YouView. Unlike YouView it will not be based around a new set-top box but will work on computers and various internet-connected mobile devices.
Much of this may be available through The Cloud public Wi-Fi provider, which Sky owns, meaning that if you’re in the right hotspot, it may cost you much less in terms of data use compared to 3G and (when it comes) 4G.
YouView is a souped-up Freeview box that uses a broadband link for free catch-up TV from the main broadcasting networks and optional on-demand services, which you can pay extra for (if they are not free to view). It is intended as an open platform to which any content provider can contribute.
Sky had previously expressed concerns that public money (from the BBC licence fee) had gone into part of YouView’s development.
Darcey also admitted that it’s a challenge for Sky+ to keep up with consumer demand for innovative services. “A few years ago, with the launch of Sky for example, we were ahead of the consumer,” he said. “Nobody knew they wanted it, but we did. We’re no longer ahead of the consumer; however, expectations are huge.”