SKY HAS announced that it's cord-cutting itself, with users able to take the service from next year without a satellite dish for the first time in its 29-year history*.
Sky Q will be able to offer a service from next year purely based on streaming as its sister service Now TV currently offers at a more basic level.
With Sky Q now live in over 600,000 UK homes as a "streaming first" platform with linear satellite programming forming part of a much wider offering, the next logical step was to remove the satellite element which will not only bring Sky Q into homes that can't currently receive it, but ultimately will save the company billions as it will one day be able to stop relying on the Astra and Hotbird satellite constellations entirely.
The news comes a day after TV Player, the streaming service which works across desktop and mobile platforms as well as Smart TV, announced it was expanding its offering to Chromecast, Android TV and Windows 10 Universal app.
This will be of particular interest to sports and documentary fans, as TV Player carries the Discovery bouquet and Eurosport which look set to be removed from Sky (and Now TV) next week in both the UK and Germany following yet another carriage dispute of the type we've not really seen in Pay TV for years.
This is probably caused in no small part by Discovery's rights to show future Olympics which won't affect it so much in the UK, where "crown jewel" rules will enforce it to be relicensed back to a terrestrial broadcaster, but for other European countries where Sky is now a dominant player, the rights could be a valuable bargaining chip.
All this posturing will leave Virgin Media as the last major supplier of television solely via a fixed line (albeit the same one that carries the internet). The company recently launched its Version 6 box, which it is said has been a leap forward but still lags behind Sky Q in terms of features. In addition, Sky has just joined Virgin as a "quad play" provider with a mobile service.
All in all, then, it seems like the battle between satellite and cable is now moving to a new phase of streamer versus streamer and the winner will be whoever's equipment can collate all of the different services (including Netflix and Amazon) into one shiny box. µ
* Pedants note: It will be 29 years by the time the service launches and yes, technically "Sky Channel has its origins in a service that began in 1981 making it 38, the service we know today came from Murdoch taking over Sky in 1989, so nerrrgh.
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