Sky and the BBC have agreed a new partnership that will see the two broadcasters collaborate across content and technology.
As part of the wide-ranging partnership, the BBC iPlayer app and connected red-button service are launching on Sky Q, Sky’s next-generation TV platform, offering Sky customers the full BBC iPlayer and red-button experience.
Sky viewers have long been able to enjoy BBC content on-demand via an integrated catch-up service across Sky+ and Sky Q. This new collaboration will enable Sky customers to watch BBC programmes via the BBC iPlayer app, by pressing the red button when watching a BBC channel, or through Sky’s integrated catch-up service.
Sky customers will also have easier access to BBC children’s content with popular shows from CBBC and CBeebies including The Dumping Ground, The Worst Witch and Topsy & Tim, set to be available as box-set series across the Kids section of Sky Q, including within the Kids Safe Mode which was launched by Sky earlier this year.
The broadcasters are also exploring a range of other partnership opportunities, including the availability of BBC Sounds on Sky and NOW TV platforms, to offer even more to Sky customers and licence fee payers, as well as committing to BBC content being available on Sky’s future TV platform.
The BBC and Sky are also in early stage exploration to use PromoSmart, powered by AdSmart Sky’s targeting technology, to serve up more personalised promotional content to BBC viewers. In practice, this will mean that viewers in different households could be shown different trailers for BBC content that are more relevant to their interests during the breaks between programmes when watching BBC channels live.
“We are pleased to be working with the BBC on such a broad-ranging partnership – it is a great example of how UK broadcasters can work together for the benefit of viewers and the industry,” commented Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK & Ireland, Sky. “We are continuing to explore, together with the BBC, how it could use Sky’s innovative technology to help it better connect with licence-fee payers for the long term.”
“We’re thrilled that viewers who watch our programmes on Sky will now be able to enjoy the full BBC iPlayer experience, and to access our full red-button service,” declared Bob Shennan, Group Managing Director, BBC. “BBC iPlayer is a fantastic way to watch the incredible breadth of programmes the BBC offers, including fantastic full series, terrific archive content, brilliant new dramas like His Dark Materials, landmark natural history programmes like Seven Worlds, One Planet and hilarious comedies like Motherland. We’re also very much looking forward to experimenting with PromoSmart in the future. This agreement shows how the BBC and Sky can work together to give audiences the very best experience and support a strong UK media industry, and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”
“A sign of the times is the best way to describe this latest tie-up,” commented Paolo Pescatore, TMT Analyst at PP Foresight. “It builds upon Sky’s approach to aggregate a wide range of services. More importantly for the BBC to further open up in its quest to break down the barriers to adoption of BBC services on other platforms. A win for consumers.”
All eyes are now on the remaining sole PSB yet to support Sky’s AdSmart.