Sky, Netflix ‘pioneering’ European partnership

In a sign of the increasing need for one-time adversaries to work together, Sky and Netflix are partnering to bundle the full Netflix service into a new Sky TV subscription pack. Describing it as a “pioneering partnership, the first of its kind”, Sky says the initiative will give millions of its customers seamless access to Netflix through the Sky Q platform.

Sky will make available the extensive Netflix service to new and existing customers by creating a new and “attractively-priced” entertainment TV pack, combining Sky and Netflix content side-by-side for the first time. Netflix’s service includes over a thousand hours of Ultra HD content, complementing Sky Q’s extensive UHD programming.

With the Netflix app integrated into Sky Q, and Netflix programmes promoted alongside Sky content, customers can enjoy shows such as Britannia, Billions and Big Little Lies alongside The Crown, Stranger Things and Black Mirror, as well as free-to-air TV, all on the Sky platform.

As part of the new partnership, Sky customers will be able to  access Netflix content in the Sky Q menu, plus quickly find Netflix programmes including the use of Sky Q’s search and voice search functionality. Existing Netflix customers will be able to easily migrate their account to the new Sky TV bundle, or sign into the Netflix app using their existing account details.

This agreement builds on the raft of innovations coming to Sky Q which were recently announced.

In agreeing the bundling deal, Sky joins counterpart TV platforms Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk in offering the streaming service to subscribers.

“The exciting new features coming to Sky Q will enable Sky customers to access even more of the best entertainment delivered over the best product platform,” declared Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive, Sky. “By placing Sky and Netflix content side-by-side, along with programmes from the likes of HBO, Showtime, Fox and Disney, we are making the entertainment experience even easier and simpler for our customers. Our recent announcements mean we will extend our leadership in delivering customers the best viewing and user experience in Europe.”

“We are delighted to partner with Sky to bring the latest technologies and great stories under the same roof,” added Reed Hastings, Chief Executive, Netflix. “With this innovative new partnership and Netflix’s stellar line up of original content from across the world, Sky’s customers will be able to seamlessly access and enjoy all the best entertainment in one place.”

This European partnership will see Netflix – along with the new Sky TV pack – launch on Sky Q in the UK and Ireland in the coming year. Netflix will launch on Sky Q platforms in Germany, Austria and Italy thereafter.

The agreement with Netflix also extends to Sky’s contract free streaming services. In the UK and Ireland, Sky will launch Netflix as a standalone app on NOW TV’s family of streaming devices 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 in due course.

Further details on pricing and billing within the Sky Q service will be confirmed nearer to the time Netflix launches on the platform. Sky+ customers will not be able to access Netflix through their set-top box or Sky Go app. This agreement does not include the Sky Q app.

Paolo Pescatore, VP Multiplay & Media, CCS Insight, described the partnership as “huge”,  suggesting that Sky had been reluctant to forge a deal with Netflix. “But you cannot ignore the phenomenal growth Netflix has had in a short period of time. Furthermore and more importantly it reinforces Sky as an aggregator of the content that people want to watch on the Sky Q platform. For Netflix, this is a superb tie-up that further increases its broad appeal among families. It is also a reflection of the changing landscape and the need for players to be smarter and work together rather than compete with each other. It is inevitable that both parties have made concessions in order for this long-anticipated deal to happen.”





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