BT, Sky ink cross-supply content agreement | Pay-TV | News | Rapid TV News
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In a move that will be heralded by their respective customer bases, after a lengthy negotiation, the UK’s two leading pay-TV companies have announced a multi-year agency deal whereby BT can market and sell Sky’s NOW TV service to its BT TV customers.

BTSport 15Dec2017NOW TV offers Sky’s most popular content, including Sky Sports, Sky Cinema and the Sky Atlantic channel which offers the company’s leading dramas. As a result of this agreement, BT TV customers will be able to take all 11 Sky Sports channels, as well as a NOW TV Entertainment pass offering channels including Sky Living, Sky One and Sky Atlantic, which also offers box sets including Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies and Billions.

At the same time, BT has agreed to wholesale its BT Sport channels to Sky, allowing Sky to sell these channels directly to Sky satellite customers. The BT Sport channels include exclusively live UEFA Champions League and Premier League football. This will mean that satellite customers will be able to buy BT Sport from Sky as well as from BT. Currently, BT TV customers can only buy Sky Sports Main Event as a bolt-on to their TV service for £27.50 per month, and are not able to choose from the full range of Sky Sports channels.

It is expected that these new services will be available to customers from early 2019, but closing the deal marked an important day for BT and for its customers, said chief executive Gavin Patterson. “This is the next logical step for our TV and content strategy. This agreement fits with our strategic goal of being the best provider in the UK of converged network services, and adding NOW TV boosts our growing roster of outstanding content from the likes of Netflix, great pay channels like AMC and all the major catch-up services.”

Sky Group CEO Jeremy Darroch added: “This is great news for Sky customers who will be able to access all matches on Sky and BT channels from the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Europa League directly with a single Sky TV subscription and with the great customer service that we provide. UK consumers will have even more ways to watch great Sky entertainment content with our leading portfolio of channels – Sky Atlantic, Sky One and Sky Living – available on all major pay-TV platforms for the first time.”

Adding his take on the move, Paolo Pescatore, senior vice president, multi-play and media, CCS Insight, said: “This deal has taken many years but it is great news for consumers. They don’t have to sign up to different providers. However, this means more to BT, giving its ailing TV service which has been struggling to see meaningful net adds over recent quarter. Hopefully the addition of these premium Sky channels along with the hugely successful BT Sport service, will make BT TV more attractive and drive consumer uptake. Furthermore, this is a significant move for the new head of the combined consumer units of BT and EE. All eyes will now be on the Premier League and whatever the outcome both BT and Sky will be in a strong position to air all the Premier League matches on their respective platforms. Arguably the biggest losers in this tie up are TalkTalk and Virgin Media.”