The BBC in the UK has struck a deal that covers content and technology with domestic competitor Sky, with the public broadcaster’s on demand service iPlayer becoming available via the pay TV platform as a result.
The main feature of the deal is the availability of the BBC iPlayer app and connected red-button service on Sky Q. From today, Sky Q users will have access to the full iPlayer experiences, building upon the range of on-demand content already offered through the platform.
Users can access the iPlayer app by pressing the red button when watching a BBC channel or through the Sky Q UI.
The deal also will see users have easier access to BBC Children’s content, with a range of CBBC and CBeebies shows – such as The Dumping Ground and Topsy & Tim – available as box-set series in the Kids section of Sky Q.
In the announcement, the broadcasters also said that they are exploring a range of other partnership opportunities, such as the availability of BBC Sounds on Sky and NOW TV platforms, and committing to BBC content being available on Sky’s future TV platform.
On the tech side, the BBC and Sky are in the early stages of exploring the use of PromoSmart to serve more personalised promotional content to BBC viewers. PromoSmart, powered by Sky’s AdSmart targeting technology, 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.
Stephen van Rooyen, CEO UK and Ireland, Sky, 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.”
Bob Shennan, group managing director, BBC, 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.
“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.”
Paolo Pescatore, tech, media and telco analyst at PP Foresight said that the deal makes sense for the strategies of both companies: “A sign of the times is the best way to describe this latest tie-up. It builds upon Sky’s approach to aggregate a wide range of services. More importantly for the BBC to further open up in its quest to break down the barriers to adoption of BBC services on other platforms. A win for consumers.”