In my opinion, these new channels from Sky are a pretty clever tactic for competing with Netflix and other streaming services. Take the "Sky" off the front, and you're left with
-- you're left with the headings/categories along the top of your TV screen when you're looking for something to watch. So you're not only able to claim you are broadcasting more channels, but you're also making the transition from linear TV to catch-up seamless.
Sky started this with the "Sky Kids" branding -- in that case, it was purely on demand, there was no equivalent channel -- and they must have felt that the formula worked. Making extensive use of their partners' content library, but pushing the master brand.
In the viewers' minds, they will hope that the Sky brand becomes synonymous with, well, whatever it is they want to watch!
We have News, Sports, Cinema, Kids, Crime, Comedy, History and (soon) Documentaries... quite a line-up.
For that reason, the History (channel) branding just about works; SyFy would be more of a push, and E! definitely wouldn't work.
It’s very easy for people to just go “Urgh, another new channel of imports or re-runs or originals no one will watch” (and then complain when no one launches new channels or closes them) but what they’re actually doing is moving themselves into a future where individual linear channels are not really that important as distinct propositions and instead become a line up of genres that serve ‘Sky’ as an overall proposition whether linear, catch up or SVOD.
New linear channels do help serve those traditional pay tv customers as we begin to see more of the larger media groups perhaps move away from traditional pay tv but what they also do is serve the on demand catalogue and help curate the library under those genre and brands especially as on demand viewing becomes more of a priority.
I think it’s an effective move especially as things like Now TV grow and they may find themselves having to rely more on their own originals and acquisitions going forward rather than carriage deals with Discovery or ViacomCBS who may have their own OTT plans... if they do strike a new Disney deal as expected, I’m more interested in what happens with the content that falls outside of the Disney Plus platform and whether Disney will continue with traditional pay tv channels or move to a new model which may also give more context to Sky really doubling down on their own proposition.
Last edited by Plektrum on 23 February 2020 4:36pm - 2 times in total