What is Now TV? – Updated
Update: Since the launch of Now TV and this article, Sky have expanded the Now TV service significantly. They now offer a monthly Sky Sports option, a Smart TV box which combines FreeView with their premium channels, a kids TV option for families and even a low cost broadband solution, available on a rolling contract. All of which has driven huge numbers to the free Sky contact number to sign up for the service.
Up and down the country there are hundreds of thousands of households which aren’t capable of getting a Sky TV subscription. The reasons are countless, from owning a listed building to simply not being able to commit to the 12 month contracts that Sky demand, there are many of us that would like to join Sky but simply don’t have the option to. Understanding that the structure and demands of their services were limiting the potential number of customers who could join (and spend their hard earned cash with the company,) Sky took a long hard look at their services. Clearly, something had to be done, and that something was Now TV.
Originally launched with just the ‘movies’ package in July 2012, as a straight competitor to the likes of Netflix, who were doing extremely well and taking customers away from Sky for their movies services. Movies on Now TV allows access to both live streaming from their full suite of movies channels as well as instant streaming from their comprehensive back catalogue of films. In March 2013, Sky then added Sports to Now TV, offering pay-as-you-go access to Sky Sports on a daily or weekly basis. Finally, at the request of customers on the Sky freephone, they added the Entertainment subscription in October 2013, which brought in access to the full compliment of Sky branded entertainment channels (Sky Atlantic included) and other big name channels like Comedy Central, Disney, Fox, Gold, MTV, Discovery and more.
Both the Movies and Entertainment packs are monthly subscriptions which can be taken together or independently of each other on a non-contract basis. Sky Sports, however, can be had in either a 24 hour or week long pack, which enables you to only pay for the sporting action that you want to watch.
Originally available as a web client, Now TV expanded quickly into its own dedicated box available from Sky, before moving onto Android and iOS devices, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, LG Smart TVs, Apple TV, Roku, YouView and many, many more. In fact, Now TV can be had on over 70 devices, so checking your device is compatible is best done through the official Now TV compatibility list to ensure that your device is ready for the service.
Unlike Netflix, which has no limits on the numbers of concurrent users who can sign in with one account, Now TV can only be registered with five devices, with new ones having to replace old ones from there. Also, Now TV cannot be used by more than one device at a time, making it less than ideal for flats or families which wish to share the service. Customers have spoken to Sky on the Sky contact number 0844 about this issue but Sky are remaining resolute on the issue, thinking that more people using the service on one account would mean less revenue for the business.
Sky Present Living for Sport Student of the Year award for Scotland to Student
One hard working student got the surprise of his life yesterday when Sky Academy Ambassador and Olympic Gold Medalist Darren Campbell arrived in his school. This wasn’t just some flying visit for a photo opportunity though, because Campbell was there to surprise 17 year old Fraser Armstrong with the Sky Sports Living for Sport Student of the year Award for Scotland.
The surprised student, who was taking part in a PE lesson at Hollybrook Academy at the time, was broadcast live on Sky Sports New HQ, and seemed delighted with his achievement. He was chosen as the Student of the Year winner for Scotland by a panel of judges for participating in the Sky Sports Living for Sport programme in order to reignite his passion for athletics. Because of his autism, Fraser finds communicating with others a challenge and despite his natural talent, he has struggled to keep motivated at times. The panel hope that this award will give him the motivation to push forward and make his dreams a reality.
Fraser will now attend the Sky Sports Living for Sport Awards at Sky Studios in London this weekend to discover whether he will be crowned the overall UK & Ireland Student of the Year. He will be up against the winners for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the Awards will be broadcast on Sky Sports 1 on Sunday 29 March at 7.30pm. The free Sky customer service number has already been lit up with suggestions, but the panel refuse to be swayed, and will make their judgement in time.
Sky Sports Living for Sport Ambassador Darren Campbell said: “It’s an honour to present Fraser with the Student of the Year award for Scotland. He’s achieving things in his life that were simply unthinkable before his participation in Sky Sports Living For Sport and that’s the beauty of the initiative. The skills learned through sport can be applied to all areas of life and Fraser is a fine example of that. He’s a worthy winner for Scotland and I’ll be tuning in on Sunday to see if he picks up the overall UK & Ireland Student of the Year Award.”
Taking part in Sky Sports Living for Sport presented Fraser with the tools required to overcome the barriers he faced in everyday life. From his teammates, he learnt cooperative friendship and communication skills and sprinting gave him a natural and healthy outlet for the energy many kids spend communicating with each other.
Fraser’s teacher Chris Milne said: “I was delighted to hear that Fraser had won the Sky Sports Living for Sport Student of the Year award for Scotland. Fraser has shown great resilience in the six years that I have known him, overcoming every obstacle he has encountered and is now a fabulous example of how sport can enrich lives. Fraser’s journey through sport is the reason he is the young man you see before you today. Confident and independent, he has grown into a fabulous role model and inspiration to all pupils at Hollybrook Academy. We are all very proud of him.”
Sky Create New Learning Experience for Kids
As part of Sky’s ongoing commitment to the UK’s education system,. they’ve lent their time, money and expertise into creating a brand new education centre for kids ages eight to eighteen years old. The centre, called the Sky Skills Academy has been built in Livingstone, Scotland and links to the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence by helping to build life skills. Sky have set their internal targets for their Sky Academy Skills Studios and their Sky Academy to help over a million children learn skills, confidence and self belief by 2020.
Inspired by calls to the Sky number from landline and launched by Sky News journalist Kay Burley and the kids of Newbattle high School, the studio is the second of its kind in the UK and will welcome 12,000 young people per year through its doors to have fun and learn. Students will be able to create their own TV reports about the subjects they’re studying at school using Sky’s state of the art cameras and other technology. Kids will get the opportunity to use broadcast quality cameras, greenscreens, editing booths and touch screens to make their broadcast worthy of being on Sky News itself.
Since the launch of the first Sky Academy Skills Studios in West London in 2012, Sky have been widely praised by parents on the Sky contact free number and by schools. They’ve also introduced over 30,000 kids to the possibilities of the media and have taught them important skills including team work, creativity and communication.
Bella Vuillermoz, Director, Sky Academy, said: “We are delighted to have opened Sky Academy Skills Studios in Livingston, investing further in our West Lothian campus. This is another step forward in our ambition to see Sky Academy help one million young people unlock their potential and gain the skills, experience and self-belief they need to prepare them for the world of work. It gives them access to a state-of-the-art facility where they can write, shoot and edit their very own television reports related to a subject they are studying at school.”
Kay Burley, Sky News Journalist added: “The Studios are a great asset for school pupils across Scotland, introducing them to the world of the media while helping them to build highly valuable life skills. It has been great to meet the pupils from Newbattle High School and get a first-hand view of how much an experience like this can impassion and inspire young people.”
Bob Foley, Head of Health and Wellbeing Faculty, Newbattle High School, said: “Some of our pupils were lucky enough to visit the Sky Academy Skills Studios in London which was an amazing experience, so I am thrilled we now have an equally impressive facility here on our doorstep in Scotland and honoured that our pupils had a leading role to play in its launch. Our pupils learnt a great deal from the experience, it really puts the ethos and principles of Curriculum for Excellence into practice and I would urge any teachers interested to register and book their free visit.”
Sky Defiant in Leaders Debate Battle
The news that David Cameron would only agree to one of the three planned televised debates sent shockwaves through the political world. It was the second time he refused to take part in the debates because he didn’t like the format and was seen as yet another attempt to derail the important TV debates. One major question hung over the heads of the media though, what would happen to the debate hosted by Sky and Channel 4? That debate was due to be a one on one between Mr Cameron and the Leader of the Opposition, Ed Miliband on the 30th of April 2015, but with Cameron claiming he will only take part in one seven-way debate, that left Sky and Channel Four with nothing but empty plans on their hands.
Countless calls were made via the Sky telephone number free requesting that Sky keep to their plans and host the debate whether Mr Cameron arrives or not. That would show a defiant stance and prove that the broadcasters were not willing to be bullied by Mr Cameron into constantly changing their plans. Mr Miliband has been on both TV and Radio to publicly call out Mr Cameron for ‘running scared’ from the debates and also went on Twitter to say “I will be there on April 30th, will he be there, yes or no?”.
Today, we have news that Channel Four and Sky are still preparing their debate, and that their plans will go ahead unchanged. In a statement released by both companies, they said “We are continuing to prepare for a head-to-head debate between the prime minister and the leader of the opposition on 30 April”. They do, however, go on to state that they would be willing to host the debate on a more agreeable date for the Prime Minister, stating “However, in response to media inquiries following today’s PMQs, we would obviously be willing to host a debate on a different day the two main party leaders could agree on.”
The other two debates, featuring leaders from the Conservative Party, Labour, Liberal Democrats, UKIP, Greens, SNP and Plaid Cymru are to be hosted by the BBC and ITV, but with Mr Cameron only appearing in one, everything remains up in the air. Reaction, understandably, has been furious from all sides, including on the Sky customer services number free. The original plans for the debate, which were to be a one on one with Miliband; a three-way between Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Conservatives plus a four-way with the three main leaders and Nigel Farage, were refused outright by Cameron who suggested the Greens should be involved if UKIP were to be. As such, this second refusal is being seen as petty and cowardly from the Prime Minister, who privately believes that he doesn’t need to do the debates because he sees himself on a course for another term in Downing Street.
Cameron has yet to respond to Sky and Channel 4’s strong position, but we don’t suspect he’ll back down from his position, using the voice of Downing Street to suggest its the broadcasters fault instead.
Sky Sports Extend Football League Rights
Hot on the heels of the news that Sky had paid almost £5 billion on the rights to secure Premier League football coverage into 2019, the company have moved to ease fears of a further gulf between the nations first and second leagues by extending their current TV rights deal with the Football league and securing their broadcasting agreement until the 2018/2019 season. Unlike the Premier League rights auction, however, this was not sold in a blind auction, but was instead negotiated with the league directly as part of an option in Sky’s pre-existing contract.
The agreement, across its four initial seasons, will be the most lucrative in the Football League’s history with 148 games per season from the Football League being broadcast each year. That includes all the leagues from Championship to League 2 along with Capital One Cup games and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy being broadcast on Sky Sports along with highlights and clips from the competitions. The deal also allows Sky to offer Football League content across broadband, Sky on Demand and through mobile services.
However, Sky have not disclosed the financial information behind the deal, but it comes at a time when football fans have been in outcry over the disparity between the top two leagues of the UK. The Premier League under its latest deal means that each televised game is worth around £11 million to each club involved. That makes the smallest team in the Premier League, Burnley, a bigger side than Ajax, one of the most important clubs in the world. Meanwhile, under the old deal between Sky and the Football League, a televised game would be worth £500,000, which would often cause the teams to make a loss, as many fans stayed at home to watch on the TV. Naturally, this caused plenty of unrest with fans crowding the Sky free contact number to protest the ludicrous state of affairs.
This disparity has been used to explain the incredible difficulty that freshly promoted sides face in remaining in the league, playing against teams who are so moneyed that they’re floated on the stock market and teams who have been flooded with money for a decade. Indeed, teams that get relegated from the Premier League receive hefty parachute payments to help them ‘adjust’ to the league below, which often means that they’re once again much more wealthy than the other teams in the league, leading to a very wonky situation indeed.
Still, with this new deal in place the Sky tel number should be safe from angry fans, and the 72 clubs which occupy those leagues should find a greater degree of financial stability in very financially unstable times. This news, however, will likely come at the expense of BT, who were reportedly looking at picking up the rights and increasing coverage, which would make the channel the go-to location for any football fan whose team doesn’t currently reside in the upper echelons of the top tier.
Sky to Buy Out Remaining Sky Germany Shares
Sky made headlines during 2014 with the purchase of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia in order to make a cross-Europe pay-TV giant to be renamed Sky from BSkyB. That deal ultimately cost Sky nearly £7 billion, but whilst it managed to purchase 100% of Sky Italia, they failed to get 100% of the shares of Sky Deutschland, the larger and more important of the two companies.
Sky Italia cost £2.45 billion in the purchase from 21st Century Fox, with Sky also offering their 21% share of the National Geographic Channel as part of the deal. They also purchased 21st Century Fox’s 57.4% share in Sky Deutschland for £2.9 billion, or a price of £5.35 per share. Under German market rules though, any offer made to purchase a majority stake in a company must be extended to the minority shareholders too. That saw the total number of shares Sky would own in Sky Deutschland reach an amazing 89.17% as shareholders jumped at the opportunity to ditch the poorly performing Sky Deutschland stock, inflating the total cost of that purchase to £4.4 billion.
Since then, Sky have had a ‘buy’ order on Sky Deutschland stock, slowly accruing more stock and greater influence in the company. Today, Sky own 96% of Sky Deutschland, but the business remains on the stock market and the remaining minority shareholders must be represented on the board. It’s understandable then that Sky would want to take total control of the business and remove it from the stock market, allowing greater integration with Sky UK and Sky Italia.
No surprises then when we tell you that Sky are taking the company off the German stock market, and under German market rules that means all minority shareholders will be paid in cash so that Sky will own 100% of the company. Group CEO Jeremy Darroch will address Sky’s European plans at a press conference at Mip TV on Monday the 13th of April, 2015 in Cannes, France.
This decision will allow Sky to make massive savings across its business in areas like the Sky digital contact number and content, where programmes can be made and then translated into German and Italian, saving on their content budgets. It also means that Sky have backup in the battle against BT and Virgin Media and territory to lean back on in case things get a little heated in that particular battle.
With a warchest of over 20 million customers soon to be at their disposal, Sky will be able to negotiate much harder on content deals for things like Sky Movies, which will further drive savings. Indeed, if Sky can build the brand further in Germany and Italy, there’s no reason at all they couldn’t become one of the biggest media companies in the world. That is, if they can keep over twenty million customers happy through the Sky contact number through mobile, of course.
Breaking Down Sky’s Premier League Deal
Well, the results are in and Sky have once again set records with a deal which will see more Premier League games than ever before be shown on Sky Sports, keeping football fans with the company and continuing Sky’s ambition to be the place to view Sky Sports. That deal cost Sky £4.176 billion, but what exactly will their record breaking fund get them, and how will it affect your friday nights over the next three years? Read on to find out.
The total cost of this years Premier League rights auction hit a dizzying £5.136 billion, which is £2.118 billion more than the 2012 auction raised, which was in turn £1.245 billion more than the 2009 auction. If those numbers look exponential to you, then that’s because they are. It’s even more stark when you consider that the 2000 auction raised £1.2 billion, just £500 million less than the same auction a decade later. Those numbers indicate that the Premier League is now flushed with cash, and Sky is significantly out of pocket.
Part of those skyrocketing numbers is fueled by competition from BT, who surprised everyone in 2012 with bids that took three of the seven available packages away from Sky, denting their reputation as the place for Premier League football and sending customers fleeing to the Sky customer service number free to complain about the loss of their favourite games to BT Sport. Naturally then, Sky couldn’t let BT pull the same trick again, and thanks to the blind nature of the bidding process for Premier League rights, Sky were forced to bet big to win the rights.
That plan worked out for Sky, as they netted five of the seven available packages, including Friday night football for the first time ever. In total, Sky will be showing 126 games a season, including 26 first pick matches and 31 second pick matches. That should mean that Sky Sports subscribers get to see more games than ever, and more of the big ticket games that fans crave to see. It also means that every side in the Premier League will be featured on Sky at least four times, a boon for fans and neutrals alike.
126 games a season works out as £11 million per match, up drastically from the £6.6 million per match paid out during the last deal and a total mockery compared to how much Championship sides are paid for a live game – £500,000. As such, it’s no wonder that newly promoted sides struggle in the Premiership and freshly demoted sides flounder without the massive sums of cash they were receiving during their Premiership run. Indeed, fans have taken to calling the Premier League and free number for Sky to implore that TV money is capped for Premier League sides and that the rest of the money is spent on lowering ticket prices on the gates and supporting grassroots football initiatives.
For BT’s part, they secured 42 games a season for £960 million, which alongside their Champions League rights deal, should see BT Sport continue to be a popular location for football fans across the country.
Sky To Spend Big on Premier League Rights
Premiership football over the last decade has been marked by increasingly gigantic transfer budgets, record breaking wages and the consolidation of a good number of teams who are now too wealthy and influential to ever find themselves in a relegation scrap. Partly, this has been driven by increased attention on the league and its standing within Europe, but it’s largely been driven by television rights sold in the UK and around the globe, of which each team receives a significant cut. Those rights are auctioned off in the UK every three years in a blind auction, so that none of the bidders know of each other nor how much they’re bidding on each other the seven packages.
Over the last few auctions, this has lead to spiralling prices paid out by the likes of Sky Sports and a massive influx of cash into the top league of the sport, greatly increasing the funding gap between England’s top tier and second tier of football. For example, during the 2009 auction, the cost for all 7 packages was £1.79 billion, but the cost of the 2012 auction reached £3 billion. To put that in perspective, that means that the money the top team used to earn from rights in 2010 was the same amount of money that the relegated team in 2013 earned.
Over the coming days, Sky and BT will find out which one of them has won which packages, and how much they’ll have to pay for the honour. Sky were understandably perturbed when BT came out of nowhere in 2012 to win 3 of the 7 packages and put a serious dent in Sky Sports‘ claim as the place to go for Premier League football. Sky have been taking calls via Sky contact number freephone ever since, and keeping those customers happy will be crucial to Sky’s continued success. For BT also, the rights are more important than ever, as they’ve now got a large sports channel of their own to look after. As such, bidding is expected to reach around £5 billion this year, which would consolidate the Premier League as the best funded football league in the world.
Alongside this issue, Virgin Media have asked Ofcom to investigate the number of Premier League games on TV, which could see the number of Premier League games on TV shoot up, alongside the cost of the rights package. Theoretically, this could lead to a much greater number of broadcasters holding rights to Premier League games and the Sky freephone number could get a break from fans, who would have many more games to watch on TV. The downside, the Premier League’s governing body states, is that fans might stop attending games if most are on TV, which would lead to a funding shortfall and the loss of all atmosphere at games, which they argue would destroy the sport.
That issue won’t be resolved for a number of years yet though, and Sky must currently focus on the rights auction as is, hoping to get enough rights to justify the high price of their sports packages.
Sky Announce ‘Mills and Doom: The Marriage of Reason and Squalor’
Sky have named another ambitious programming effort for 2015, this time coming in the form of Jake Chapman’s ‘Mills and Doom: The Marriage of Reason and Squalor’, due to air on Sky Arts during the summer. Joining the likes of Simon Donald’s critically acclaimed ‘Fortitude‘, Mills and Doom will become one of Sky’s most heavily advertised and hyped programmes of the season.
Jake Chapman is best known as one half of the Turner Prize award winning duo the Chapman Brothers who have made a name for themselves by creating incredibly intricate miniature scenes, highlighting grotesque and macabre subject matter in comic and unusual ways. This work has earnt them attention from around the globe, but their solo work has often been ignored under the cultural attention placed on their work together. Jake’s solo work has revolved around writing, and it’s his romantic novel ‘Mills and Doom: The Marriage of Reason and Doubt’ that is due to be transformed into a four part TV series starring Rhys Ifans and Sophie Kennedy Clark.
In Mills and Doom, we meet Lydia (Kennedy Clark), who is given a desert island by her fiancee, a handsome surgeon named Algernon as part of her wedding present. Whilst visiting the island, she encounters a man named Helmut (Ifans). Helmut is reclusive and disheveled, but seems to exhibit a strange power over Lydia who finds herself questioning the purpose of the island and what secrets it might hold. Returning home she waits for her husband Algernon, desperately attempting to determine what is real and what is coming from her own mind. Twisting the conventions of the romantic novel, Mills and Doom takes a sideways look at the tradition of romantic storytelling whilst retaining the sheer joy of the romantic experience.
On turning his novel into a TV programme, Jake Chapman had this to say: “After dedicating most of my artistic life to examining the dark underbelly of human existence, I was utterly delighted when Sky Arts expressed interest in a lesser-known facet of my creative passion. With the blessing of Sky Arts, my romantic novel ‘The Marriage of Reason and Squalor’ is now being transformed into a four part TV drama – I can only thank them for going out on such a limb…”
Sky have been prepping more and more original TV at the request of fans via the Sky free number and Sky contact number free, and the announcement of another big name TV programme arriving on our boxes can do nothing but good for the company. On landing Jake Chapman, Phillip Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts said this: “We loved Jake’s idea from the outset and the real thing promises to bring this unique creation to life in full technicolour glory. We’re always on the look-out for drama ideas that will deliver artistic TV as well as compelling storytelling and this does both. It’s a gorgeously dark romantic tale with something really interesting to say at its heart.”
We can’t wait to see Mills and Doom make its way on to our TV, and we’re sure you can either. For all the latest Sky news and numbers, stay right here.
Sky Holds Talks With O2 Over Quad Play Potential
It’s far from a surprise that Sky wants to do everything Virgin Media does better than Virgin Media ever could. On all areas, from home phone to TV via broadband, the two companies are incredibly competitive. One area where Sky have been unable to match the Branson led company on, however, has been with mobile phone deals. For a number of years now Virgin have operated Virgin Mobile, a virtual mobile network which rebrands EE‘s network and is offered by Virgin to its customers in special deals. Those deals are often called ‘quad-play’ packages and feature TV, broadband, home telephone and mobile telephone in one, easy to pay bill. These packages have proven massively popular all over Europe and for Virgin, who have been picking up more and more customers through the deal.
All of which is why Sky are desperately eager to get into the game themselves, having witnessed their business getting slimmer and slimmer at the hands of an aggressive Virgin Media advertising campaign. As such, it’s little surprise that Sky are in talks with O2 over a strategic partnership between the two. At this point, however, it’s unclear what kind of partnership this would entail. One such possibility would be striking a deal for O2 to act as a MVNO in the vein of the Virgin/EE deal, which would have Sky utilising the O2 back end but rebranding their effort, possibly under the Sky Mobile name. Sky were in talks with Vodafone earlier in the year for a similar deal, but it would now appear that Sky are searching out other potential partners with which to collaborate with.
Another possible deal would be an outright takeover of O2’s assets, which would give Sky a very strong position in the market and mirror the ongoing £12.5 billion acquisition of the UK’s largest mobile network EE by BT, who are seeking to launch their own quad-play package in 2015. This move is seen as much less likely than O2 operating as a MVNO, as Sky are unlikely to have the liquid assets required to purchase O2 outright, having recently purchased Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland in a very costly deal. If Sky did go ahead with the purchase of O2, this would surely force Virgin to purchase Vodafone in an effort to remain competitive in a market where both BT and Sky own major UK mobile networks.
A source within Sky stated that whilst the talks are early, they are in contact and that both parties would be interested in a potential partnership. Customers too have been eager to get mobile contracts on their Sky bill, even going as far as to using the Sky contact numbers in order to voice their opinion. Getting to a deal will be difficult though, and once they are not all analysts are convinced that the UK market is particularly interested in quad-play packages at this time, given the intense and fruitful competition between mobile phone networks and smartphone makers, who see good sales from customers switching phones often.