Sky TV moves to a download model

Posted on May 3, 2008


The Herald Business section this week noted Sky TV’s new download model for movies and television shows.

For $5 per month, existing Sky subscribers can download “all you can eat” from their site, though only after those shows have played on Sky’s network. There’s talk of getting the downloads zero-rated through deals with specific ISPs like TelstraClear and iHug. Of course, if you’re paying for the traffic, you might find it cheaper to pop around to the local video rental store. It’ll be interesting to see what formats and bitrates they’re hawking.

With this addition, Sky TV has a full suite of offerings: terrestrial, satelite, integrated PVR, postal DVD rentals and online.

As an alternative to using the MySky PVR (or the investment of running a Media PC solution on your home machine), the online option could make sense for many subscribers. If future versions of the MySky PVR integrate recording with downloading to fill in gaps… well, we have a pretty compelling box.

Key for me will be the breadth of content. It’ll be interesting to compare the offering with TVNZ’s onDemand service, that is great to use, but has almost no foreign material.

Of course, once you’ve trained people to browse, download and consume movies and television shows on their PC, what’s the likelihood that they’ll start going straight to BitTorrent and start getting those same movies and shows within hours of their release in the US, rather than months or years later?

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