BSkyB’s new Netflix and LoveFilm-rivalling internet TV service will not carry the Sky brand but will instead be called NOW TV when it launches later this year.
Announcing the decision, BSkyB CEO Jeremy Darroch said that launching a second, distinct brand would allow the company to “meet the needs and preferences of different customer segments more effectively.”
“We’ll offer two distinctive ways to watch: the market-leading full Sky service for the whole family, complete with the widest range of channels, high-quality products like Sky+, HD and Sky Go, and the peace of mind of a monthly bill; or the flexible, more spontaneous, pay-as-you-go service of NOW TV,” he added, during a keynote speech at The Guardian’s Changing Media Summit.
The service, which was announced in January, is designed to give viewers access to some of Sky’s most popular content without needing to subscribe to its TV service.
It is aimed particularly at the 13 million UK homes that “don’t yet take pay-TV from any provider,” opening up Sky’s potential user base, Darroch said
NOW TV will launch with Sky Movies titles before expanding to include sport and entertainment content, and will roll out on a range of devices, including PCs, tablets, mobile phones, games consoles and connected TVs, he added.
The service will come with a variety of pricing options and no minimum contract. Users will be able to pay monthly for unlimited access to Sky Movies or rent titles on a pay-as-you go basis.
“As the quality of the TV experience over broadband has improved, people have become more willing to consume content in different ways. That presents a great opportunity to distribute our programmes which wasn’t there even a year or two ago,” said Darroch.
“With the long-awaited explosion of connected devices now upon us, this opportunity is only going to grow. And it’s something we believe is highly complementary to our existing service.”
Though a launch date is yet to be confirmed, NOW TV is due to go live in the first half of this year.