Sky Introduce Revolutionary Advertising Platform

Updated: Since the launch of Advance, Sky have rolled out the service to a number of advertising agencies to much applause. Indeed, such has been the response from advertisers on the contact number Sky, that the service was even a finalist as the Media Week Awards in 2016. A full market launch is due for early 2017, and may well prove to be a huge moment for Sky as they expand rapidly beyond television advertising.

If you’re a company looking to advertise, there’s no shortage of platforms and tools you can use. From the days of paper adverts through radio, TV and online, there has always been a way to ensure that adverts get noticed by those who might act on them. The trouble has always been though how to ensure that your advert is being seen by the people you want to see it. Over the years, TV analytics have given a rough guide as to what kind of person might be watching a certain TV programme, but it’s never been accurate enough to tell whether an audience member has actually seen the advert. Until now.

Sky Media, the advertising sales division of Sky, have today announced the launch of Sky AdVance, a product which joins us the Internet and Television so that audiences see the right advert at the right time, on the right sequence and on the right screen. The new system directly connects TV and online audiences, and Sky are claiming it represents the biggest change in media buying since the emergence of the Internet itself. Needless to say, the Sky TV phone number is already buzzing.

The new system comes after Sky Media greatly improved their understanding of audience viewing behaviour, which has now expanded to gather data from 3 million households, and provides second by second viewing data for all channels . This gigantic scale not only covers programme viewing data, but also spot and sponsorship viewing as well as recency and frequency data. This huge data set across TV, online and mobile opens the door to some pretty exciting advertising opportunities.

This understanding of viewer behaviour means that advertisers can address the most relevant and interested audiences via whichever screens they’re using, without encroaching upon viewer privacy or harming the overall viewing experience. AdVance will allow advertisers to extend their TV adverts to people they know haven’t seen it, via digital adverts broadcast during On Demand content and display. That’s an incredibly powerful proposition, as it means that an advertiser can be confident that their advert has reached its intended audience.

This is the second advertising product that Sky Media have launched in recent years, following in the footsteps of Sky AdSmart. AdSmart leveraged Sky’s strength in digital services to allow small businesses to bring highly targeted adverts to potential customers based on their age and specific geographical location. In short, it allowed your local garage to show an advert that will only appear in front of those within a five mile radius – opening the door for many local companies previously locked out of TV advertising and generating a lot of a excitement on the Sky TV phone number.

Sky AdVance will open to the market from January 2016 and is currently undergoing a period of beta testing with 20 different advertisers on board to test the potential of the idea.

Jamie West, Deputy Managing Director of Sky Media, said: “The scale of the data we now possess gives us the ability to interweave TV and digital advertising like never before. Sky AdVance will open up many exciting possibilities for advertisers, while ensuring viewers get to see more relevant advertising, in meaningful sequences. I am looking forward to welcoming brands on board and seeing Sky AdVance in action.”

Sky Calls on Ofcom for Openreach Investigation

Sky have come out swinging today against Openreach, a subsidiary of BT which is tasked with connecting customers to their local telephone exchange, and therefore connect them to the Internet. Originally, this service was run for profit as a monopoly by BT, but undertakings with Ofcom in September 2005 ensured that the business was forced to offer its services wholesale to other Internet providers, and therefore the number of companies selling broadband expanded massively.

Today, Sky is calling on Ofcom again to instigate a full market investigation against Openreach to examine the problems that affect customers in the UK broadband market every single day. Sky believe that issues of both quality and competition are sufficient to get the investigation underway, and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) should conduct the enquiry.

In their submission to Ofcom, Sky sets out the details of the standard of service being delivered to customers by Openreach, which is solely tasked with operating and maintaining the UK’s national telecoms network. The evidence highlights how historical under-investment has led to a disastrous experience for customers. Amongst these faults are an excessive number of network faults, failure to meet targets for repairing faults, long waits to have new lines installed, appointments that are missed and jobs that are not completed.

The key findings of their submission include:

  • More than 90% of all new line installations which require an Openreach engineer to attend take more than 10 calendar days or longer to complete.
  • Almost one in ten installations takes longer than 30 days.
  • Openreach fails to meet its agreed installation dates for Sky customers on average around 36,000 times a month
  • Fault rates across Openreach’s network increased by 50% between 2009 and 2012, the last year for which reliable data is publicly available.
  • Openreach’s performance in fixing faults is consistently below the targets set out in agreements with service providers.


Sky represents around one third of all broadband customers which rely on the Openreach network to exist, so if it’s experience is typical (which it should be), then the overall impact to customers routed through Openreach will be three times higher than what is stated above. Sky consider the brunt of the problems to come from lack of investment in the ‘last-mile’ or ‘access’ copper infrastructure that connects individual homes to the Openreach network. Alongside it’s own research, Sky have commissioned research by independent firm Frontier Economics which shows years of declining investment in maintaining the copper network.

Sky are also concerned that the Openreach deal which was struck in 2005 will inhibit competition within the broadband space, with new ideas and business models being crushed under the weight of BT’s total dominance of the fibre network. Indeed, Sky’s customers have said the same on the Sky telephone number, and so it appears like the time is at hand to petition Ofcom.

Mai Fyfield, Sky’s Chief Strategy Officer, said:“We are drawing attention to the problems in broadband because they are important to the economy as a whole. They affect competition between providers and have a direct impact on consumers and small businesses, resulting in inconvenience, dissatisfaction and loss of productivity. The UK needs to get the basics right in broadband as well as develop the networks and services of the future.”

“We believe that Ofcom should move quickly to ask the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to undertake a full competition inquiry. A reference to the CMA would allow these vital issues to be examined with increased speed and thoroughness by a body with the powers to take whatever action should be deemed necessary. Given the rapid changes taking place in the sector, we believe this should happen as soon as possible.”

Sky Deutschland announce senior management shakeup

There were more than a few eyebrows raised when Sky announced its intention to buy out both Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in the latter part of 2014. The company had been losing some ground in the UK and both its German and Italian counterparts had failed to turn a profit, making the entire endeavour look like it might be a touch fruitless. By the time Sky’s £4.9 billion purchase went through, the decision was looking a little smarter than we might have first assumed. With these new businesses, Sky would have one of the largest European media companies, and be able to negotiate much harder on content deals with the likes of sporting organisations, content providers and movie studios. There was also the matter of management, which could be considerably cut down and shared across the new group, lowering costs and cutting red tape between the businesses. Since that time, we’ve seen Sky make a huge number of changes at the top, and today we have another, as Sky Deutschland AG announce that they will appoint a new Chief Executive.

The announcement states that current CE, Brian Sullivan, will step down from his role on the 24th of June in order to return to the United States. The supervisory board who look after the appointment of management at Sky have tapped Carsten Schmidt to replace Mr Sullivan. Mr Schmidt, who formally acted as Chief Officer for Sports, Advertising Sales & Internet at Sky DE, will take on the role of Deputy Chief Executive with immediate effect, and work alongside Mr Sullivan before taking over full time in June.

It’s a fantastic promotion for Mr Schmidt, who has served on the Sky Deutschland management board since 2006, after initially joining the company in 1999. Over the course of his time at the company, he’s been instrumental in building Sky Deutschland’s deeply impressive exclusive content catalogue. Still, some aren’t happy with the appointment, hoping that a woman might get the job and requesting clarification on the Sky 24 hour helpline. Nevertheless, Sky Deutschland look like they’ll be in fine hands under Mr Schmidt, and with Sky UK as their parent company, they should find strong success well into the future.

Jeremy Darroch, Group Chief Executive of Sky plc and Chairman of Sky Deutschland’s Supervisory Board, commented:“Brian has made a huge contribution to Sky Deutschland over the last five years. He has built an excellent team who have delivered a step-change in growth and opened up the significant future opportunity for Sky in Germany and Austria. We wish him the very best as he returns to the US.

“We are delighted to appoint such an experienced and capable executive from within the existing leadership team. Carsten has played a central role in the transformation of Sky in Germany, building a strong business in premium sport with a deserved reputation for outstanding quality and innovation. With the support of an excellent team, he will lead the next phase of Sky’s growth as it continues to execute on a well-established and successful strategy.”

Carsten Schmidt, Deputy Chief Executive, Sky Deutschland, said:“This is an exciting time for Sky in Germany and Austria. The business is performing very well, and with the support of the wider Sky group, we are now even better positioned to exploit the huge potential in our sector. I’m looking forward to working with the team to bring the Sky experience to many more customers in the future.”

Brian Sullivan, Chief Executive, Sky Deutschland, added:“Sky Deutschland has come a long way over the last few years. The product we deliver today is amongst the best in the world, whether that be our outstanding content, amazing innovations or award winning customer service. And customers have responded in the millions. This could not have been accomplished without the incredible team here at Sky, of which Carsten has been an outstanding member. I cannot think of a better person to work with Jeremy and the whole team to bring the next chapter of the Sky story to life.”

Sky TV Investigating Firstsource over ‘Data Breach’

Firstsource, a call centre in Londonderry which handles a number of Sky’s customer service requests has suspended 138 of its employees today under suspected mis-selling of products and fraud. The investigation solely related to calls made on behalf of Sky and could lead to more than 100 people losing their jobs full time. The company employs a total of 1,120 people, meaning the claims of corruption affected roughly one in ten employees. The suspensions, however, have been met with backlash from unions and workers as a lack of clarity exists within the case.

The employees, it has emerged, are charged with mis-selling client products and breach of confidence as well as ‘alleged’ fraud, which has yet to be investigated fully. In a statement Firstsource claims that “an internal investigation is underway as a number of policies may have been breached by members of staff”. Their use of language remains hazy, partly due to a suspected lack of concrete evidence against the employees. Sky, on their part, have remained quiet about the call centre operation, preferring instead to let Firstsource deal with it themselves.

It’s a rare blip for Sky’s customer service record, which has been extremely strong over the last few years. During 2014 Sky invested a total of £20 million into their customer service schemes and won’t be pleased to hear of some third-party employees abusing the relationship between the Sky name and their customers. That £20 million was split betwee training and development of their automated customer service technologies, designed for those who wanted to contact Sky through other means than the Sky customer service telephone number.

Ofcom’s recently published annual customer satisfaction survey found that Sky had made some gigantic improvements in the way they handle customer service requests, improving in every possible area over last year already strong results. In areas of TV, broadband and telephony Ofcom found that Sky had customer satisfaction scores above the industry averages. In terms of landline and broadband customer service, Sky exceeded the industry averages by large amounts, putting other customer service providers to shame and marking a true success for the company.

Sky was, in fact, the only company to improve its overall customer service satisfaction rating during 2014. In a year where Virgin, BT, TalkTalk and the other large communications companies either stayed put in terms of satisfaction or dropped, Sky’s satisfaction rating rose an astonishing 10 percentage points to reach 79%, an industry leading high. In terms of pay-TV alone Sky scored 81% , up 15% over the last few years and gives Sky the most pleased customers in TV.

That being said, any accusations of mis-selling are incredibly grave and Sky will doubtlessly want to stamp this out as soon as possible, lest it begin to affect their sterling record. We expect more news on this to come and will update this as we find out more.

Recording on Sky

The Benefits of a Sky+ Box

When customers take out a standard Sky television subscription package it is now normal procedure for them to receive a Sky+ box, allowing them to record TV.
The ability to record, pause and rewind live television is something that has become very popular, very fast. It essentially removes the need to watch live television altogether so that Sky customers are able to conduct their lives normally – not around their love of soap operas. The Sky+ box comes standard when customers take out a subscription, therefore all customers are able to experience this luxury, it is not something that customers are limited to for an extra fee each month.
In addition to the simple recording function, there is also a function that allows the viewer to record a whole series of shows at the touch of a button. It is not necessary to go onto the Sky planner each week in order to select the shows that you wish to watch, an entire series can be recorded by setting the box to “series record”. This will mean that whenever the show is on that channel at that time, it will be recorded and stored until the viewer chooses to delete it.

Recording on Sky

There are many more functions that fall under the umbrella of recording on Sky, one of which is the “keep” function. If, for example, you record a film that you are not able to watch when it is first aired and so record it and then watch it, if you decide that it was brilliant and you’d like to watch it again you can select “keep” on the options of that specific programme. This will mean that while it can still be deleted, a warning message appears before it gets deleted.
In addition to this, if you watch a film all the way through and stay on that same channel for the duration of the film and when the film has finished decide that you would like to record it for future viewing, you can do this by hitting the record button. It will then automatically back date the recording and gather the whole movie.
Finally, one of the best perks that recording on Sky offers is the ability to remote record. There is nothing more frustrating than heading out for the day or the evening, or worst going on holiday, only to realise that you’ve forgotten to set up your favourite show to record. Well, Sky have a solution for this. When you need to set up a recording on Sky and have forgotten, you can visit the Sky website, login into your account and instruct the your Sky box at home to record a specific programme – or programmes if you’re really forgetful!

Sky Sports Coach of the Year

The man named by Sky Sports as the ‘coach of the year’ has been welcomed to Timsbury Cricket Club. Stuart Kingwell will be the head of youth coaching

Every year Sky and Sky Sports conduct a series of something equivalent to competitions, where people are credited with the work they have done over a period of time, in a certain area. In this case it is Sky Sports who have acknowledged the work that Stuart Kingwell has done in the Bath area.

He has now moved to Timsbury Cricket Club and will fulfil the role of ‘head of youth coaching’. The title ‘Sky Sports Coach of the Year’ is the third in a series of accolades that Kingwell has received – endorsing the fact that the youth of Timsbury Cricket Club is in good hands.

“Timsbury Cricket Club has announced the appointment of Stuart Kingwell as head of youth coaching.

An ECB Level 3 coach, Kingwell has been working in the Bath area for the past ten years and in 2013 received the accolade of Sky Sports Coach of the Year.

He has also been Chance To Shine Regional Coach of the Year and BANES Coach of the Year.

Timsbury chairman Andrew Jeffery, who has taken on the role of youth co-ordinator for this season, said: “We are delighted to welcome Stu on board. He has an excellent CV and I am sure he will maintain the high standards which we have always prided ourselves on in our youth sections.

“One of our lads, Jack Scrivens, has been a member of the Somerset youth squad for several years now and Charlie Hobbs and Will Jeffery have both been selected for the district festival trials at under-13 level.”

Indoor net sessions will take place at Writhlington School from 6-7pm on Thursdays, beginning on March 13, for children in Year 5 and upwards. That will be followed by outside training at the school field from April 18 between 6.30pm and 8pm.

Softball cricket for the under-9s will also begin that day under the supervision of Colin Weaver.”

Sky Sports work hard to support the amateur cricket clubs and offer their name to help encourage younger members of society to become involved in the game. Naming coaches as the best in the country is just one way in which they do this, the media exposure that comes with this does the rest.

If you are interested in learning more about Sky Sports and their work in the community, visit or contact the Sky customer services department using the information listed on this website:

This article was sourced from

Sky Hit 25 Years of Broadcasting

After 25 years of service, Murdoch and his team at Sky are celebrating the milestone that launched Sky television and all the entertainment they unleashed.

Murdoch was quoted as saying “it’s on a wing and a prayer” when he and his team launched Sky television for the first time on 5th February 1989. 25 years later, after a few bumps in the road admittedly, they can hold their heads high and rejoice in the success they’ve felt over the years. There have been a handful of key moments but to be fair to them, fewer flops that they’d rather not remember.

Sky News has been at the heart of the channels since that day in 1989; they were one of the four channels that launched that day. At the time, everyone believed that it would be the films that would bring in the customers and make Sky one of the most successful digital television supply companies in the world, but that was not to be. A success yes, a tempting addition absolutely, but it has been the exposure of sporting events which made sure Sky was a must-have in homes across the UK.

Sky News Update

18 months after their launch, Sky merged with BSB (British Satellite Broadcasting) and the two companies became BSkyB, which is of course still present in today’s market. This move solidified their place in the market because it was BSB that they were battling with in order to gain dominance.

It wasn’t until 2002 that Murdoch insisted the company convert to the digital signal, but the reasoning was simple – over the digital frequencies, Sky were able to offer hundreds of channels and in turn they would crush competition such as ITV Digital. Despite the latter mocking the former.

It was then the turn of Rupert’s son James to make his mark on the company and in 2004 he stated that he wanted 10m subscribers by 2010. Competitors thought he was punching above his weight, the general consensus was that there was not enough of a market for Sky to achieve this. How wrong were, the younger Murdoch got what he wished for.

More recently Sky have had tougher battles to fight and in 2006 they launched a counter offer to BT broadband to make sure Sky were not to be outdone. There has of course been the phone-hacking scandal for News Corp which Sky is part of, but ultimately Sky have managed to keep themselves in the game purely with their exceptional sports and movies coverage.

For more information on the services Sky offers, click here.

Former Sky Commentator Andy Gray Welcomed to BT Sport

Former Sky Sports pundit Andy Gray, who departed under a shadow thanks to his sexist behaviour, has been disgraced again just days after his return to UK TV.

Gray, who has been working with Richard Keys at BeInSport in Qatar, returned to the UK’s television screens this weekend but within hours of his debut on BT Sport, he was embarrassed on the internet when another video of his sexist behaviour. When Gray left Sky, it was under a dark cloud as they parted company thanks to the behaviour he demonstrated. This came to the attention of Sky when tapes of the commentator’s off-air conversations with Keys about female linesman Sian Massey, were leaked.

There were claims across the whole of the Sky Sports football department but Barney Francis, the managing director of Sky Sports. This came after the second load of footage showing Gray and Keys making lewd comments about co-worker Charlotte Jackson was leaked. They also made comments regarding Jamie Redknapp who is a fellow pundit.

Now BT Sport have employed him to join their presenting team, which already boasts the talents of Jake Humphrey and Clare Balding. In a way, this could be seen as yet another subtle dig at their rival broadcasting company Sky – who of course were his previous employers. BT Sport have taken on Gray after a stint in Doha where he and Keys were the face of the Premier League action in the UAE.

Speaking about the incidents, the two men both claimed there was an agenda to get them removed from Sky Sports and later, Keys claimed he had been bugged. Gray however, speaking much later, stated that he suffered a period of severe depression that led to him debating suicide. He has made it very clear that he has no issue with female referees and the comments were ‘private banter’ with him being unfairly exposed.

The exposure of females in sport has made headway in the recent years with the focus being not just on officials in the game but also sports. Cricket for one puts as much focus on the England Women as much as they do the men’s. There is no reason for this not to be the case, but with sport still being a predominantly male world, it can be tough for women to make it and so when they do come into the spotlight, it is hard for them not to receive a little extra attention.

Sky Sports have many female presenters now which can be seen both on Sky Sports News and reporting and commentating directly on games in their respective sports. To become a Sky customer, use the following link to contact their customer services department:

Premier League Sets Sky and BT Against Each Other

The Premier League may be planning to move the next auction, for the rights to broadcast the football, forward by 6 months. Participants will be Sky and BT. If this change does take place it means Sky and BT could take part in another fierce battle for supremacy, costing the winner potentially billions of pounds, within the next year. The Premier League has already hosted multiple meetings, where they have shared their new plans with the potential pay-TV broadcasters of the Premier League.

Unsurprisingly major firms such as BT and Sky are providing serious opposition against the plans as they are both already paying record fees for the rights, BT are also set to pay £900 million for the exclusive Champions League rights from the 2015 season onwards. Sources close to the parties involved in the discussions are saying that the Premier League is trying to utilise the current rivalry between Sky and BT, to gain huge profits.

Sky News Update

In 2012 the two major firms paid in excess of £3billion for their rights, with the way the rivalry is growing, analysts are saying the next time the bid the combined free will be considerably greater. When the bidding finally starts, which could be as early as December for BT and Sky instead of July 2015, the rights for the next three Premier League seasons starting from 2016-17, will be sold. The Premier League is claiming they are not trying to exploit the current rivalry, but merely returning to the set timetable which gives competitors 18 months between the start of the new deal and the auction.

The 2009 auction was held in February that year, however the latest 2012 auction happened later in the year; June 2012. Although this later auction was blamed on a dispute between the Premier league and a pub in Portsmouth who were streaming the Premier League by using a Greek satellite decoder instead of a standard Sky box. The 2012 auction set records on its own with the live rights being 70% higher than the previous 2009 price. This coming auction looks set for Sky and BT to break further records.

Analysts thought that the next auction could cost a combined £3.6billon, which is 20% higher than the 2012 auction. However since then BT secured the Champions League rights by being extremely aggressive with their bidding, this now leaves speculation over how high the bidding will go this time around. No matter how high the bidding goes Sky are set for a hard battle to maintain or improve upon the 146 games they currently show.

Visit either or call the Sky customer services team to discuss receiving Sky to your television set.

Sky Commission First Series For Pick TV Since 2011

Sky have announced their partnership with GroupM Entertainment to create a series of 10, 60 minutes programmes called Bodycam: Britain Caught On Camera.

Since their re-launch in 2011, Pick TV have worked on establishing themselves as a channel again and now that they have achieved this Sky have announced a partnership with production company GroupM Entertainment in order to bring viewers the latest in observational documentaries. Incidentally, this is also the first ever collaboration between GroupM Entertainment and Sky.

The series is set to be called Bodycam: Britain Caught On Camera and will be ten episodes long, each 60 minutes in length and co-produced by the same people who brought Britain’s Bravest Cops to our television screens. The whole series will be filmed with point of view body cameras to film those who deal with the public on a daily basis.

With the roster of people set to include emergency services, taxi and bus drivers, this show could prove to be a must-watch. It will hone in on professional working in these areas and follow their lives for a number of episodes as they interact with the public and are forced to deal with a variety of situations.

Until this partnership, GroupM Entertainment have been unable to move away from terrestrial television and have only ever made programmes with Channels 4 and 5 and ITV.

Stephen Ladlow is the director of Pick TV and has expressed his delight at this new show being produced as he promises that the show will be dramatic and engaging. It’s eye-opening, exciting style which taps into the British culture allows for those who are intrigued by sociological behaviour have a new outlet to quench their interest.

This is just the latest in a long line of documentaries that are designed to break down the barriers between firstly the public and those who work in public services and secondly those who create television programmes, and those who watch them. It appears that there is a large void between the last two and all of the shows that build a bridge between the two, that allows the public to identify with the characters, closes that gap.

Sky are dedicated to offering innovative new programmes and this series falls directly into this bracket as the camera angle is the first of its kind to be aired. If you are interested in receiving the Sky services, click here.