Sky to launch Netflix rival

BSkyB has announced it is to launch an online service aimed at those who do not subscribe to pay television.


BSkyB has announced it is to launch an online service aimed at those who do not subscribe to pay television.

The first phase of the project is to be launched in the first half of this year will let users pay to download films without needing to enter into a contract or be a Sky customer. A range of Sky Sports, entertainment and drama programming will then follow. Sky customers can currently watch a range of Sky channels online.

“This exciting new service will offer some of Sky’s most popular content through a wide range of broadband connected devices. Alongside the continued growth of our satellite platform, this will be a new way for us to reach out to consumers who love great content, but may not want the full Sky service.” – Jeremy Darroch, Sky’s Chief Executive.

Netflix launched in the UK this month which offers subscribers to buy films and selected TV programmes to stream instantly. Yesterday the BBC announced that they had entered into a partnership with Sky to provide the popular iPlayer on the Sky platform. ITV’s video-on-demand service ITV Player will also be made available.

Today’s announcement came as Sky published financial results for end of 2011. The company had underlying profits of £601 million for the six months to end of December with total revenue standing at £3.4 billion. The rise came from selling additional Sky products such as broadband to existing customers. There was a significant drop in the numbers of those signing up to Sky’s TV service, just 44,000 compared to 140,000 in three month end period last year.