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BSkyB to Launch Movie Streaming Service

31 Jan, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

In a switch, satellite TV operator is marketing service to anyone with a broadband connection not getting pay-TV

British Sky Broadcasting Group PLC Jan. 31 said it would launch a subscription video-on-demand service aimed at competing with Netflix and Amazon-owned LoveFilm Instant platforms recently bowed in the United Kingdom.

The satellite TV company (dubbed "Sky"), which as more than 10.2 million monthly pay-TV subscribers to its BSkyB satellite TV service, said it would launch the SVOD service in the next six months with varying pricing plans and unlimited access to major Hollywood movies and related content currently offered at the service's premium channel Sky Movies. Consumers would be able to subscribe monthly or rent movies on a transactional basis.

In addition, the service plans to stream live sports programming — a lucrative genre Netflix and others do not carry. The new service will be available across a wide range of connected devices, including PCs, Macs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and connected TVs.

“Alongside the continued growth of our satellite platform, this will be a new way for us to reach out to consumers who love great content, but may not want the full Sky service,” said CEO Jeremy Darroch. “Bringing a distinctive, new choice to the marketplace will help us meet the needs and demands of an ever wider range of consumers.”

London-based Sky was the first broadcaster to offer TV access in the United Kingdom over the Internet in 2006. It recently launched TV Everywhere platform Sky Go, which enables subscribers to access programming via the Internet on portable devices.

"This new [SVOD service] will build on our early leadership in multi-platform distribution,” Darroch said. “It will allow us to make our expertise and investment in content and technology work even harder, extending our options for continued growth."

The news sent Netflix shares down slightly in midday trading.

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