ViacomCBS Begins Selling TV Shows on Sky Store

Borrowing a page from Apple iTunes, ViacomCBS Networks June 29 announced it has begun selling its TV shows on Comcast-owned Sky Store in the United Kingdom. The deal, which includes programming across MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, enables users to purchase the digital content via the Sky Store app, online or on Now TV, without the need for a Sky pay-TV subscription.

Fifteen years ago, NBC, Disney-owned ABC and others began selling TV episodes for $1.99 on iTunes — after the Apple platform’s success selling 99-cents music singles.

“We are doing the same thing with video we did with music,” the late Steve Jobs said in a statement at the time.

The Sky Store line-up features all 23 seasons of Comedy Central’s “South Park”; the latest seasons of MTV’s reality shows, “Ex on the Beach,” “Celebrity Ex on the Beach,” “Geordie Shore” and “The Hills: New Beginnings,” in addition to Nickelodeon’s “PAW Patrol,” “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Dora the Explorer” and “The Adventures of Paddington.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“U.K. households continue to show a very healthy appetite to own digital content and ViacomCBS’s franchises are consistently top-sellers,” Dan Fahy, VP, commercial and content distribution at ViacomCBS Networks U.K., said in a statement. “We’re constantly expanding consumer access points to our brands and content, and the launch of our Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central franchises on Sky Store is an important new path for consumers.”

Sky Store, which also sells HBO and BBC episodes, includes a DVD in the mail for all movie purchases.

Sky Selling Theatrical Releases in the Home

With the shutdown of theatres worldwide, satellite TV operator Sky has begun offering digital video access to select theatrical releases in the home. The move is the latest among media companies upending traditional distribution channels as consumers face quarantine situations against the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Sky, which is owned by Comcast, parent of NBCUniversal, has 24 million customers across seven countries in Europe. It is following a strategy taken by Universal Pictures in the United States, which has begun offering digital retail access to select theatrical movies.

Follow us on Instagram

Sky Store will have a range of NBCU titles available the same day as their global cinema release. They will be priced at £15.99 ($18.99). This is available for Sky+ and Sky Q subscribers. Sky Store digital sales typically include a DVD backup sent in the mail.

The program begins with DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour April 6. This is the first time customers have been able to rent NBCUniversal movies as soon as they hit cinemas. On March 20, The Hunt, The Invisible Man and Emma will also be available on-demand on Sky Store, following their recent release in cinemas.

“We’re working hard at Sky to make sure we continue to look after our customers,” Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO of Sky UK and Europe, said in a statement. “We’re also introducing some things to help make life a little easier for anyone at home trying to work, stay connected to loved ones, or keep the family entertained.”

During the ongoing pandemic, Sky will also make it “Go Extra” platform available free to all customers so European households have access to Sky TV on three screens at the same time. Calls to U.K. landlines any time of day will be free for existing Sky Talk customers through the end of April.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Sky Mobile subscribers will get an extra 10GB data free added to their accounts. Call centers and engineers will prioritize the needs of existing customers to ensure their service keeps running smoothly.

Premium platform Sky Q will soon add over-the-top video platform Disney+ (March 24), in addition to YouTube Kids.