Sky plans to introduce IPTV across all its markets, while its UK mobile network gains more customers
Sky’s ongoing strategy to become less reliant on satellite technology and sports content will a take a major step forward with the launch of a full IPTV service.
The broadcaster has become synonymous with satellite technology and sport in the UK for three decades, but the popularity of cheaper streaming services and rising cost of television rights has seen attempts to diversify and reduce overheads.
This has included investments in broadband and mobile services, as well as in original and acquired entertainment content. Sport, particularly the Premier League, is still an important pillar of this strategy, but Sky has suggested it will move away from ‘second tier sports’ to focus on its crown jewels.
A move to streaming would not only reduce cost, but allow it to enter new markets and territories. It has dipped its toe into the streaming sector with Now TV in the UK as well as the launch of a sports service in Switzerland but it plans to offer all of its channels over IPTV.
Sky has also investment in streaming device manufacturer Roku to help accelerate adoption.
“We are constantly improving our customers’ experience and making it easier for them to take Sky. In the UK & Ireland Sky Q is now in 2 million homes,” said Sky Group CEO Jeremy Darroch. “We recently launched Sky Q in Italy and will roll out the service to Germany & Austria in the next six months. We will also introduce Sky over fibre in Italy and our first all IP service in Austria, both without the need for a satellite dish.”
The UK and Ireland remains Sky’s largest market, with revenues up four percent to £4.4 billion over the past six months. Sky Q, a hybrid satellite and IPTV service, now has two million subscribers, while the Sky Mobile service added 131,000 customers in Q2, contributing to a total of 335,000.
Across Europe, Sky revenues were up five percent to £6.7 million as customer numbers reached 22.9 million.