Sky is set to bring catch-up TV services to more users, with a new Sky HD box with an integrated Wi-Fi receiver confirmed for launch this September.
With those looking to give their existing Sky HD boxes wireless access to online content currently requiring the need of a separate Wi-Fi receiver, the broadcasting giant has confirmed it will launch the first Sky HD box with inbuilt Wi-Fi later this year.
Letting slip on the upcoming launch within its year-end financial report, Sky has revealed it will “launch a new Wi-Fi enabled Sky HD from September.” The company has also announced that the Wi-Fi enabled option will also become its new ‘standard’ Sky box for new customers.
Responding to strong uptake of its catch-up and on-demand services, Sky has revealed the new Wi-Fi enabled box will be part of a new strategy to accelerate uptake of its connected services.
“We’ve seen an explosion in on-demand and mobile viewing as more people connect their Sky boxes to broadband and watch TV on laptops and mobile devices with Sky Go,” Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Chief Executive said in the company’s annual earnings call.
He added: “We see an exciting opportunity for future growth in this area and we intend to increase investment over the next year to accelerate growth and returns from these new services.”
Looking ahead, the company added: “There are three key elements to our plan; first, we will step up the roll-out of connected boxes across our base by offering a low-cost wireless connector to customers that have a Sky HD box but haven’t yet connected it to broadband.
“We will also launch a new Wi-Fi-enabled Sky HD box as standard from September, rolling it out to targeted groups of customers who don’t yet have Sky HD boxes.
“This acceleration of our connected Sky HD platform will open up access to the full range of On Demand services, increasing the value we deliver to customers and providing an important platform from which to grow new revenue streams.”
Further discussing the rise in its online services, Luke Bradley-Jones, Sky’s Director of TV Products stated: "During the last year, Sky customers were connecting their Sky boxes to broadband at an average rate of around 200 an hour. As a result we’ve seen an astonishing five-fold increase in average weekly downloads for our On Demand service as millions more customers choose to enjoy TV on their terms.”
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