Sky Q is getting a bumper upgrade courtesy of the BBC. The satellite broadcaster has teamed-up with Auntie to bring the full BBC iPlayer experience to its set-top box via a dedicated app.
While Sky Q has enjoyed access to content from BBC iPlayer since the set-top box launched back in February 2016, it was always housed within the Catch Up TV menu. However, the latest partnership between the BBC and Sky brings the same iPlayer app experience you’ll find on the iPhone, Android, as well as streaming set-top boxes from the likes of Apple, Amazon and Roku to Sky Q.
The Catch Up TV menu remains, but if you’d like personalised recommendations from the BBC based on your previous viewings, as well as being able to resume an episode where you left-off on another device – for example, on the way to work using the BBC iPlayer app on your iPad – you can now head to the Apps menu and open BBC iPlayer. This is also where you’ll find dedicated apps for Netflix, Spotify, and more.
If you’d rather not trawl through the Sky Q menus, Sky has added a nifty new shortcut too.
All you need to do is hit the red button on your Sky Q remote when watching a BBC channel live and you’ll be taken to the iPlayer app service, where you’ll be able to browse through on-demand content based on the channel it originally aired, the date of transmission, as well as recommendations and promoted box sets from the editorial team at the BBC.
Sky Q viewers will also benefit from easier access to BBC children’s content, with popular shows from CBBC and CBeebies like The Dumping Ground, The Worst Witch and Topsy & Tim now available as box-set series across the Kids section of Sky Q, including within the Kids Safe Mode which was launched by Sky earlier this year and prevents younger viewers from being able to roam off and discover any potentially inappropriate content found outside of the Kids live channels and catalogue of on-demand content.
According to a statement from Sky and the BBC, teams from both broadcasters are currently looking into the possibility of bringing BBC Sounds to Sky Q and NOW TV platforms as well as committing to BBC content being available on Sky’s future TV platform, and “a range of other partnership opportunities”.
Not only that, but BBC and Sky are also exploring the possibility of leveraging Sky’s targeted advertising technology, dubbed PromoSmart, to serve up more personalised promotional content to BBC viewers. In practice, this will mean that viewers in different households could be shown different trailers for BBC content that are more relevant to their interests during the breaks between programmes when watching BBC channels live.
Sky CEO Stephen van Rooyen said: “We are pleased to be working with the BBC on such a broad-ranging partnership – it is a great example of how UK broadcasters can work together for the benefit of viewers and the industry. We are continuing to explore, together with the BBC, how it could use Sky’s innovative technology to help it better connect with licence-fee payers for the long term.“
The fully-featured BBC iPlayer app is now available in the Apps menu on all Sky Q boxes nationwide.
BBC Group Managing Director Bob Shennan said: “We’re thrilled that viewers who watch our programmes on Sky will now be able to enjoy the full BBC iPlayer experience and to access our full red-button service. BBC iPlayer is a fantastic way to watch the incredible breadth of programmes the BBC offers, including fantastic full series, terrific archive content, brilliant new dramas like His Dark Materials, landmark natural history programmes like Seven Worlds, One Planet and hilarious comedies like Motherland.
“We’re also very much looking forward to experimenting with PromoSmart in the future. This agreement shows how the BBC and Sky can work together to give audiences the very best experience and support a strong UK media industry, and we look forward to continuing this relationship.”