Sky is to launch a new NOW TV set top box which combines its portfolio of contract-free subscription channels with more than 60 free to air live channels, including BBC One and ITV.
Launched four years ago, NOW TV streams Sky’s most popular sports, movies and entertainment channels via the viewer’s broadband connection. Customers can buy ‘passes’ to each channel type without the need for an ongoing contract, offering low-cost and flexible access to shows such as Game of Thrones.
The new box will integrate NOW TV and Freeview channels for the first time and will allow Sky to better compete against BT and TalkTalk’s low priced TV services which are also delivered via broadband and include a mix of pay channels alongside Freeview’s aerial-delivered channels. It will also compete with the new internet-connected Freeview Play set top boxes.
Sky says the new device is its “most advanced” NOW TV box ever and promises it’ll be available “later this year”. Pricing and further details will be announced in the coming months.
Existing NOW TV customers are also set to benefit from a new user interface featuring “a content-rich homepage” showcasing content available across the platform’s range of catch up TV apps and pay TV content from NOW TV.
NOW TV is increasingly important to Sky’s continued growth, with last quarter seeing the number of sports passes bought increase by 30% year on year to 472,000.
Gidon Katz, Director of NOW TV said: “The launch of our new homepage on the NOW TV Box will make it easier than ever for our customers to quickly find and watch their favourite shows.
“And when the new NOW TV Smart Box arrives later this year, it will be the perfect one-stop box to get a contract-free, flexible way of watching the best of pay TV and free-to-air content all in one place.”
NOW TV worked with Silicon Valley based Roku Inc. to develop the new NOW TV Smart Box which will sit alongside the existing NOW TV Box, with pricing details and further information to be made available later in the year.