What are Comcast's plans for Sky?

  • Talk of cricket rights may have been novel for U.S. media analysts, and on sports, the Sky chief underlined that the company is focused on premium rights and walking away from second-tier offerings. He added that Sky will also reduce the volume of niche movies it buys and its lineup of linear entertainment channels.

    Sky has pushed into streaming via its low-cost Now TV service. Darroch noted that the company has just finished work on an OTT platform what will allow it “to light up any other country very, very quickly” following SVOD launches in Spain and Switzerland.

    Roberts sounded a more cautious note on streaming, but said it is part of the international plan. “Streaming is obviously going to be part of our business but is not a substitute for what is a very good business in television,” he said. “Streaming, we think, is very challenging economically, and we don’t want to rush into anything that could in any way take what has been a tremendous television business and make it worse.”

    Comcast released its latest earnings report the other day and in a webcast, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch joined Comcast boss Brian Roberts to discuss their plans for Sky, this coming only a few weeks after Comcast completed its acquisition of Sky.

    As Variety reported, Sky is looking to drop what it considers second tier sports rights and concentrate its fire power on premium sports rights, especially the premier league. As Amazon has now won some premier league rights, it's unknown whether in the future Sky, BT and Amazon will slug it out for the coveted rights.

    Comcast's pay tv service is very similar to Sky's and it was well known that Brian Roberts was very impressed with Sky's tech. Remember that Sky's boxes are made by Sky themselves, it was Alan Sugar's company Amstrad that originally made the boxes until Sky bought them out and the EPG software used by both companies is very similar in nature, so at some point, there could be savings made there as Comcast may decide to use one software across both its American and European networks.

    Roberts had little to say on was streaming, except he stated he wasn't rushing into anything. Comcast own quite a few channels and like the other media companies, they are worried that streaming will cannibalise these channels and the revenues they gleam from them. In my opinion, one of the primary reasons for Comcast buying Sky was to get hold of Sky's streaming tech and use the Sky brand to launch a global streaming service to compete with Netflix, Disney and others.

    Roberts and Darroch haven't given many clues yet what they will do with Sky and how it will be combined into Comcast, but as a516Digital reported, some channels on Sky will get axed as Comcast seeks to cut costs and merge Sky services in with its own. Sky has confirmed that Sky 2 and Real Lives will get the axe. Will other channels follow?

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  • Expect more evolution than revolution

    Executives on both the Comcast and the Sky side have signaled that there won't be radical change. After all, Sky CEO Jeremy Darroch and his top executives are all staying in place, with Comcast vowing to support their pursuit of further growth.

    In this recent article (click the link above to read) Comcast and Sky have given a few more details about how they intend to work together, but a lot of things are up in the air at the moment as they await to see whether Disney and AT&T (Warner) withhold their content for their own future streaming services. This may impact whether and how fast Comcast rolls out Now TV to other countries.

    One thing that Sky's boss has said is that with any future American news events, Sky News will be able to use NBC reporters and vice versa, the same goes with sports coverage too, but this is not exactly earth shattering is it?

    Is the billions of pounds that Comcast paid for Sky worth it?

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  • Comcast “Exploring” Launch Of Sky-NBC News Network Later This Year

    Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said the company is “exploring” the launch of a global news channel co-branded with NBC and Sky by the end of 2019.

    I hope the yanks don't mess around with Sky News too much. CNBC and the other Comcast owned American news channels are pure crap compared to Sky.

    Note: Comcast own a share of Euronews, so it's possible they might sell that now that they own Sky News.

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  • Just trying to update some threads and Sky made a very important announcement recently, it could go in this thread too as it's very relevant: Is this the beginning of the end of satellite television??, but I'm sticking it here:

    Sky Broadband Likely to Launch Openreach FTTP Plans in H2 2019

    The wait for ISP Sky Broadband to launch a new UK range of “ultrafast broadband” packages using Openreach’s network may soon be over. Several credible sources have indicated to us that their Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based packages will go live in the second half of 2019 and December seems most likely.

    Sky UK Rebrand ISP Packages – Hints at Ultrafast Broadband Plans UPDATED

    Firstly, Sky Broadband’s entry-level Sky Broadband Unlimited (ADSL2+) service will be rebranded to Sky Broadband Essential, while Sky Fibre Max is to become Sky Broadband Superfast (both 40Mbps and 80Mbps FTTC tiers will be sold under this title) and in the near future we’re going to get the new Sky Broadband Ultrafast plans (three FTTP / G.fast tiers will fall under this giving max rates of 160Mbps, 330Mbps and 1Gbps (e.g. the 160Mbps tier will be promoted as 150Mbps average)).

    Murdoch and Sky always said that they won't get involved in network building, but with Murdoch now gone and Comcast now owning Sky, having some kind of distribution of their own is very important to Comcast being a cable company at its core.

    Sky already own a fibre backbone network and have their kit installed in every telephone exchange and FTTC cabinets, so it's not too hard to extend for them to extend the fibre going into those cabinets into people's homes using BT Openreach's telegraph poles.

    So, how all this fits in with Comcast's plans for a global streamer and Now TV, is as yet unknown, but it won't be too long before the whole country will be able to access Sky's "satellite" tv service through fibre optic cable. And to think they used to be a little satellite tv company when they started...

    I'm very interested in this service as I'm fed up with Virgin Media's crappy upload and retention, so await for further details to come. Probably Sky will announce something at the end of summer or in the autumn as regards prices and availability.

    Another relevant thread that maybe of interest and needs updating: BT spins off Openreach. Will it lead to more FTTH (fibre to the home) broadband?.

    Would you be interested in a ultrafast broadband service from Sky and tv service delivered down cable?

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