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Sky has confirmed the launch of what it describes as the UK’s most comprehensive Ultra HD service on Sky Q Silver, available to customers from August 13th. Offering a line up of Premier League football, exclusive blockbuster movies, natural history documentaries and gripping dramas, it says viewers will be brought to the heart of the action at home, in enhanced Ultra HD picture quality.
Customers will be able to immerse themselves in 124 live Premier League games this season, and over 70 movies, from the world premiere of Spectre in Ultra HD, to Oscar Winner The Revenant, and box office hit The Martian. There will also be a wide selection of natural history and documentaries, with David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies, as well as five new dramas, including hotly anticipated The Young Pope starring Jude Law and Series 4 of The Blacklist.
Further sports, movies, documentaries and drama will follow.
“With Sky Q, we created the world’s best TV experience,” declared Luke Bradley-Jones, Director of TV & Content Products. “Now with the introduction of an unrivalled line-up of Ultra HD TV, the service is going to get even better, truly enhancing customers’ viewing experience. So whether you’re a football fan, movie buff, natural history enthusiast or drama junkie, customers looking for the next-generation of TV viewing will love it.”
Ultra HD is available to customers with a Sky Q Silver box and subscription at no extra cost.
From August 13th, customers will be able to watch the most comprehensive range of sports, movies, documentaries and dramas in the enhanced detail and clarity of Ultra HD, with highlights in the first year including:
According to Paolo Pescatore, Director, Multiplay and Media at CCS Insight, Sky will bring one of the most comprehensive 4K catalogue across all genres to the UK market, which firmly reinforces its market leadership. “In our opinion, this will kick start consumer appetite for 4K in the UK. Though BT was the first provider to launch 4K in the UK, it has failed to see any meaningful uptake to its BT TV service. Despite a huge investment in 4K, BT has failed to build upon its early mover advantage.”
“We believe that this will drive uptake to Sky’s latest and greatest pay TV service, Sky Q. Though the concept of fluid viewing has failed to resonate with consumers, premium content in 4K such as Premier League will drive awareness, appetite and enhance their viewing experience. As we’ve said repeatedly, Sky’s close relationship with content and rights owners still puts it in a far stronger position than its competitors. The announcement is well-timed with Monday’s announcement from EE making BT Sport available to selected mobile customers. But, more importantly, it comes when all providers will start to heavily promote their respective multi-play bundles ahead of the new Premier League football season. It’s going to be a very busy second half of the year with Sky’s entry into mobile, Vodafone’s debut in TV and Virgin Media’s new set-top box. Sky’s latest move throws down the gauntlet to others, so let battle commence.”
Strategy Analytics’ David Mercer (Principal Analyst – Digital Consumer Practice) estimates that 1.7 million UK homes, 6 per cent of the population, currently own an Ultra HD TV. “While audience numbers are likely to be low in the early days, since Sky Q has only recently launched, this is an important statement from the UK’s leading pay TV broadcaster that Ultra HD is here to stay and represents the future of television viewing. Sky has leapfrogged BT back into top spot with its Ultra HD launch, which is the most comprehensive Ultra HD service available in the UK, if not worldwide. BT will now be under pressure to expand its own Ultra HD offer,” he suggests.