Sky’s Now TV Launches Contract-Free U.K. Triple-Play Bundle

LONDON — European pay-TV giant Sky is reaching out to commitment-phobes by launching what it called Britain’s first contract-free triple-play bundle, comprising TV, broadband and telephone, through its Now TV standalone streaming service.

Available from July in the U.K., the Now TV Combo comes complete with a new set-top box, combining a range of live and on-demand TV with up to 35 pay TV channels and more than 60 free-to-air channels. Users can pay for services on a monthly basis without any longer-term commitment.

Prices range from £9.99 ($13.42) to £51.99 ($69.88) depending on which of the four streaming passes are selected. Customers will also pay line rental at $24.16 per month and a onetime set-up fee of $53.75 or $67.20, depending on the broadband speed.

Launched in 2012, Now TV plays a major part in Sky chief Jeremy Darroch’s strategy to offer a wide range of services, from pay-as-you-go OTT offers to high-end pay-TV services. The move also marks a major step in the Rupert Murdoch-owned outfit’s battle to dominate the pay-TV landscape, taking aim at other triple-play providers in the territory such as BT and TalkTalk.

“Now TV has got something for everyone — TV they love to watch, when they want and on their own terms,” said Now TV managing director Gidon Katz. “We know people want the freedom and control of a no-strings relationship when it comes to choosing their TV, broadband and call package, so now the Now TV Combo is the product and service they deserve.”

The Now TV smart box is also available to buy for a standalone price of $53.74.

Strategy Analytics’ David Mercer sees the launch as part of Sky’s attempt to expand its customer base by increasing penetration among Freeview households, “targeting a more ‘pay-as-you-go’ mindset – those who see annual contracts as too risky financially but are happy to occasionally dip into premium sport and film content.”

“More than a third of U.K. homes use Freeview as their only TV service, and we estimate that 4% of U.K. homes currently own a Now TV box, so there’s plenty of opportunity.” Mercer said. “The £9.99 ($13.42) entry-level package will be of interest to free TV viewers tempted by the flexibility of switching in and out of pay TV, as well as those looking to get a low-cost broadband and TV bundle.”

The Now TV box will feature a new live pause functionality of up to 30 minutes and gives consumers an option between four packages: Entertainment Pass (11 channels not on Freeview and 250 box sets), Sky Cinema Pass (more than 1,000 on-demand movies with a new premiere daily), Sky Sports Pass (including events from seven Sky Sports channels) and Kids Pass (includes six dedicated channels and a host of on-demand episodes).

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • James Corden Variety Cover Story

    James Corden Signs Deal to Host 'Late Late Show' Through 2022

    James Corden has signed a new deal with CBS which will see him stay on as host of “The Late Late Show” through 2022. The multi-talented Brit had been in advanced negotiations with the studio since May, and the new deal is sure to see him score a substantial bump in pay. The previous deal [...]

  • Reese Witherspoon

    Reese Witherspoon, Home Edit Duo Set Lifestyle Series at Netflix

    Netflix has ordered a new lifestyle series that boasts Reese Witherspoon among its executive producers. The hour-long series will follow master home organizes Clea Sherer and Joanna Teplin, the duo behind The Home Edit company. In each episode, Sherer and Teplin will transform the lives of their clients by conquering clutter with their signature style. [...]

  • 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Renewed for Season

    VH1 Renews Two Series in 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Franchise

    “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has been renewed for Season 12 at VH1, the cabler announced Monday. Additionally, the “All Stars” version of the show has been renewed for Season 5. RuPaul made the announcement in a video, which you can see below. The flagship series will welcome a fresh group of drag queens eager to prove [...]


    'Fleabag' Star Andrew Scott Joins 'His Dark Materials' at HBO

    Andrew Scott, known to many as the “hot priest” from season 2 of “Fleabag,” has joined the cast of the “His Dark Materials” adaptation at HBO. The announcement was made via a tweet on the series’ official Twitter account which shows Scott on set with Lin Manuel Miranda, who is set to play Lee Scoresby [...]

  • Stephen Amell Arrow Season 5

    'Arrow' Star Stephen Amell to Lead Starz Wrestling Drama 'Heels'

    Stephen Amell has set his first major post-“Arrow” role. The actor, who will make his final outing as the bow-wielding super hero this season, has been cast as the lead in a wrestling drama series entitled “Heels,” which has been handed an eight-episode order by Starz. The hour-long drama is set in a close-knit Georgia [...]

  • Curiosity Stream Altice

    Altice USA Pacts With John Hendricks' CuriosityStream Service

    Altice USA has set a deal with John Hendricks’ CuriosityStream to expand distribution of the science- and history-focused subscription streaming service. The deal will make CuriosityStream available to all Altice USA’s 4.9 million customers across 21 states, including a big cluster serving New York and Connecticut. Altice also plans to add the CuriosityStream app to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content