BSkyB is to launch an online subscription service allowing consumers to watch channels including Sky Sports via the Internet for the first time. Mike Darcey, BSkyB chief operating officer, said the new service would be launched “in the next few months”. The online channels will be made available on the Sky Player and viewers will not have to be Sky TV or Sky Broadband customers to sign up.
“Until now, Sky Player has been a ‘bonus’ for existing Sky customers. This will continue but in its new guise there will also be access on PC for a dedicated subscription service,” Darcey told the Guardian. He said that Sky would offer its sports channels on the subscription service but that other content, such as Sky1 and movie offerings, had not been confirmed as the broadcaster had to reach deals with US content owners.
Darcey said that the experience of watching TV online had developed to a point where, for many people, the quality was now good enough to launch a broadband service. “It may not be good enough for some, but for others it is,” he added.