March 1, 2018
Everyone wants a piece of British satellite TV operator Sky, including Netflix.
Sky and Netflix March 1 unveiled an agreement to bundle the SVOD pioneer into an updated Sky TV subscription pack. This partnership – the first of its kind – will give Sky subs in the United Kingdom and Ireland later this year direct access to Netflix through its Sky Q platform.
Netflix will launch on Sky Q platforms in Germany, Austria and Italy thereafter. Sky provides sports programming, movies and broadband service to 23 million homes across Britain, Ireland, Germany, Italy and Austria.
Sky will make Netflix available to new and existing customers via a TV pack combining Sky and Netflix content side-by-side for the first time – including thousand hours of Ultra HD content, complementing Sky Q’s UHD programming.
“By placing Sky and Netflix content side-by-side, along with programs from HBO, Showtime, Fox and Disney, we are making the entertainment experience even easier and simpler for our customers,” Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch said in a statement.
Integration of the Netflix app essentially turns the SVOD behemoth into a pay-TV channel enabling Sky customers – via single monthly bill and user interface – to peruse myriad programs, including “Britannia,” “Billions” and “Big Little Lies” with “The Crown,” “Stranger Things” and “Black Mirror.”
Existing Netflix customers will be able to migrate their account to the new Sky TV bundle, or sign into the Netflix app using their existing account details.
In the UK and Ireland, Sky will launch Netflix as a standalone app on Now TV’s family of streaming devices (manufactured by Roku), including on the recently launched Now TV Smart Stick. Sky Ticket in Germany and Austria, and Now TV in Italy, will launch a standalone app on their devices.
“With this innovative new partnership … Sky’s customers will be able to seamlessly access all the best entertainment in one place,” said Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
The deal comes after Comcast announced a $31 billion offer to acquire Sky – topping an existing bid by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox to acquire the remaining 61% stake it doesn’t own. In addition, the Walt Disney Co. has a $52 billion offer to acquire select Fox assets, including Sky.