Sky has announced it’s to follow in the footsteps of rivals TalkTalk and BT by offering its full TV service over broadband.
From next year, customers unable to have a dish installed at their premises will be able to receive a Sky Q set top box as part of a long-term subscription and receive the broadcaster’s channels via their standard broadband connection.
The firm suggests “millions” of homes will benefit.
Launched last year, around 600,000 of the next generation, internet-enabled Sky Q boxes are already in homes, although the vast majority of Sky’s customers continue to use its venerable Sky+ boxes.
Sky already offers streaming access to its channels via its Now TV service. In recent years the contract-free service, which is accessible on a range of devices, is believed to have accounted for the majority of Sky’s customer gains.
Stephen van Rooyen, Sky UK’s Chief Executive, said: “This year is about giving our customers even more quality, choice and value.
“We’re planning to launch our Sky TV service without the need for a satellite dish for the very first time, giving millions more homes the chance to enjoy TV with Sky Q.”
News of the broadband-based service came as the firm’s latest trading update revealed that higher costs for sports rights, notably premier league football, had pushed operating profits down by 9% in the six months to 31 December.
In addition its churn rate, the rate at which customers cancel their subscription rose to 11.6% compared to 10.2% in the same period last year.
Sky has been pushing up prices as it seeks to recoup the cost of increased sports rights.
As a result of its £4.1bn premier league deal, the firm has also been trying to reduce the cost of other content. On Wednesday it emerged that talks to strike a lower-cost carriage agreement with Discovery had broken down.