Watch out Netflix! Sky TV’s new streaming service gets closer to launch, but UK misses out

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SkyShowtime – a brand-new streaming service to rival Netflix and Prime Video – has received full regulatory approval, paving the way for a launch across Europe in the coming weeks. The new venture from Sky will be available to some 90 million homes across 20 European countries by the end of this year… but the UK won’t be one of them. Yes, UK viewers will miss out on this all-new way to watch exclusive boxsets and movies from Sky TV.

SkyShowtime will bring together shows and films from a number of popular sources. As the name suggests, Sky will bundle its own exclusive shows, like Gangs Of London and Brassic, as well as its films, including the Academy Award-winning Promising Young Woman. The rest of the library available on the streaming service will be bolstered by US network SHOWTIME, and Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Paramount+ Originals, Universal Pictures, and Peacock.

The boxsets and films available to stream from the service “will span all genres and audience categories, including scripted dramas, kids and family, key franchises, premiere movies, local programming, documentaries/factual content, and more,” Sky pledged in a press release about the forthcoming Netflix rival. In total, some 10,000 hours of content will be available to watch on launch day, with more added over time.

For comparison, when Disney+ launched it had around 4,000 hours of content (although that was more than doubled in the years since its arrival, thanks to the arrival of the new mature-focused Star channel and influx of exclusive shows from Marvel, Disney Animation and Star Wars). Netflix is believed to have some 36,000 hours in total available to watch as part of its subscription.

Like Netflix and Prime Video, SkyShowtime is widely-expected to be available as a contract-free subscription. There’s no confirmation of which devices will be supported, but it’s hard to imagine that SkyShowtime launches without support for iPhone, iPad, Android, as well as games consoles like PlayStation and Xbox, not to mention the most popular streaming set-top boxes, including Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and Google TV. Without these under its belt at launch, it’s difficult to see how SkyShowtime competes with the competition.

And that competition is seriously hotting up, as new figures show the vast sums being poured into original boxsets and films. Not only that, but the sheer number of options available to viewers has led to stalling subscription numbers for some of the biggest players, including Netflix.

So, why will UK viewers miss out on SkyShowtime?

Well, Sky Q and Sky Glass owners will already be able to watch all of the content coming to the new subscription service. That’s because Sky has struck a deal with US streaming services Peacock and Paramount+ to bring exclusive shows and films from these Netflix rivals to its set-top boxes as part of its entry-level subscription bundle. Peacock is already available, with the critically-acclaimed 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights, Suits, SuperStore, The Office, and reality telly hits like Below Deck and The Real Housewives Of New York City all now available to watch on-demand. Exclusive Peacock-developed shows, like Girls 5 Eva and Rutherford Falls are also part of the Sky catalogue.

A similar deal is set to bring Paramount+ content, currently only available to those in the United States with a subscription to the Paramount Pictures streaming service, to Sky later this year. Paramount+ has a number of exclusive shows coming this year, including the long-awaited Halo show based on the Xbox game series, as well as Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.

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The same line-up will be included in Sky’s contract-free subscription service NOW, formerly NOW TV, for those in the UK who don’t want to commit to an 18-month contract with Sky Q or Sky Glass. As such, there’s very little need for SkyShowtime in the UK, which is currently ahead of the curve.

SkyShowtime will ultimately be available in the following markets: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Kosovo, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden.

Speaking about the successful regulatory approval, SkyShowtime CEO Monty Sarhan said: “We are pleased that SkyShowtime has received all regulatory approvals and are excited to bring this new, unique and compelling entertainment service – with a broad range of some of the world’s leading content – to millions of consumers across these markets.”

Further details on SkyShowtime, including pricing, will be announced at a later date. Express.co.uk will have all of the details as soon as they’re available, so stay tuned.

Published at Mon, 07 Feb 2022 16:17:00 +0000

Watch out Netflix! Sky TV’s new streaming service gets closer to launch, but UK misses out