Sky is to launch its own range of smart TVs, removing the need for customers to use a satellite dish or set-top box, as the pay-TV company shifts its offering to remain competitive in the streaming era.
The broadband-powered TV set, called Sky Glass, will be launched in the UK on 18 October and in Sky’s other European markets next year. The new service will aggregate content from streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+, as well as Sky channels and content from other broadcasters.
Dana Strong, group chief executive at Sky, said: “The streaming revolution and the explosion of content has brought a whole new set of challenges.
“Sky Glass is the streaming TV with Sky inside. Most people use multiple apps to find the content they want. But the apps aren’t connected, and the experiences are fragmented. So we spend more time searching for content than enjoying it.”
The launch of the TV service signals Sky’s attempt to get ahead of the “cord-cutting” phenomenon in which tens of millions of US customers ditched their traditional pay-TV bundles of channels in favour of cheaper offerings from streaming services such as Netflix.
Sky, which was acquired by the US pay-TV giant Comcast three years ago for £30bn, said the new service would be competitively priced, with consumers able to pay for the TV as part of a monthly subscription.
“You can now buy your TV just like you buy your mobile phone, with a range of flexible monthly payment options,” she said.
Monthly subscription packages will start at £13 for the TV with the cheapest device and TV content package priced at £39 a month.
When the company launched its premium Sky Q box in 2017it said it was working on an offering to make its full TV service available via a broadband connection, which would enable it to target 6m homes across Europe who do not have a satellite dish.
In the UK, Sky does offer the Now TV streaming service, which allows consumers to buy monthly passes for access to entertainment and sports content, but it does not provide access to all Sky’s devices.