Sky to offer TV services without need for a satellite dish

27 January 2017 | James Pearce

British broadcaster Sky has unveiled plans to offer its TV service without a satellite dish for the first time, opting instead for an IP solution.

Sky’s premium Sky Q service will be offered over broadband as well as satellite for the first time in the UK in 2018, the broadcaster said. IT will then expand to Europe "over time".

Sky, which also offers broadband services, did not share much detail about the internet driven Sky Q offering, but the move appeared to be driven by increasing churn rates.

It will offer Sky TV’s full 270 channels through a broadband connection, opening up the service to an estimated two million new customers. There are currently around 600,000 Sky Q boxes in use in the UK, according to Sky.

It will mean greater demand on broadband networks, although a Sky Q box already demands a broadband connection. According to Cisco, global IP video traffic will be 82% of all IP traffic by 2020, up from 70 percent in 2015. Internet video to TV grew 50% in 2015.

According to its latest financial results, Sky saw the number of people leaving to competitors rise to 11.6% - up from 10.2$ last year.

The Sky group – which is subject to an £11.7 billion takeover bid from 21st Century fox – posted a 9% dip in profits to £679 million, despite a 6% rise in revenues to £6.4 billion during the final three months of 2016.

Jeremy Darroch, group chief executive of Sky, said: "In a year in which we are absorbing significantly higher programming costs, as a result of the step up in Premier League costs, our financial performance has been good."

Topics: Sky, Sky TV, UK, IP, broadband, Sky Q, 21st Century Fox, Rupert Murdoch, Jeremy Darroch