Sky has confirmed the launch of what it describes as the UK’s most comprehensive Ultra HD service on Sky Q Silver, available to customers from 13 August. Offering an unrivalled line up of Premier League football, exclusive blockbuster movies, natural history documentaries and gripping dramas, it says viewers will be brought to the heart of the action at home, in enhanced Ultra HD picture quality.
Customers will be able to immerse themselves in 124 live Premier League games this season, and over 70 movies, from the world premiere of Spectre in Ultra HD, to Oscar Winner The Revenant, and box office hit The Martian. There will also be a wide selection of natural history and documentaries, with breath-taking scenes from David Attenborough’s Conquest of the Skies, as well as five new dramas, including hotly anticipated The Young Pope starring Jude Law and Series 4 of The Blacklist.
Further sports, movies, documentaries and drama will follow.
“With Sky Q, we created the world’s best TV experience,” declared Luke Bradley-Jones, Director of TV & Content Products. “Now with the introduction of an unrivalled line-up of Ultra HD TV, the service is going to get even better, truly enhancing customers’ viewing experience. So whether you’re a football fan, movie buff, natural history enthusiast or drama junkie, customers looking for the next-generation of TV viewing will love it.”
Ultra HD is available to customers with a Sky Q Silver box and subscription at no extra cost.
From 13 August, customers will be able to watch the most comprehensive range of sports, movies, documentaries and dramas in the enhanced detail and clarity of Ultra HD, with highlights in the first year including:
•124 live Premier League games including the first game of the new season Hull City v Leicester City
•Every race from Formula 1 2017
•Over 70 movies with premieres including Spectre, The Revenant, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and Concussion
•Over 30 Sky Store rental movies from Angry Birds to the entire Ghostbusters and Men In Black box sets
•The biggest ever library of movies from Minority Report to Forrest Gump, The Godfather, Jerry Maguire, Zoolander, The Da Vinci Code and Spider-Man trilogy
•Ultra HD movie themed collections including Blockbusters, Action, Drama and Oscar winners
•A wide selection of natural history and documentaries, from Sky’s David Attenborough catalogue, to Sky 1’s Big Cats: An Amazing Animal Family and brand new Monkeys: An Amazing Animal Family, as well as Richard Hammond’s Jungle Quest.
•Five new dramas including The Young Pope, featuring Jude Law, and directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino, a joint production of Sky, HBO and Canal+, as well as new Series 4 of The Blacklist, and the box set Series 1-3.
•Plus other entertainment, including comedy series The Trip To Spain starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, Sky Arts’ Landscape Artist of the Year 2016 and Blur in concert.
According to Paolo Pescatore, Director, Multiplay and Media at CCS Insight, Sky will bring one of the most comprehensive 4K catalogue across all genres to the UK market, which firmly reinforces its market leadership. “In our opinion, this will kick start consumer appetite for 4K in the UK. Though BT was the first provider to launch 4K in the UK, it has failed to see any meaningful uptake to its BT TV service. Despite a huge investment in 4K, BT has failed to build upon its early mover advantage.
We believe that this will drive uptake to Sky’s latest and greatest pay TV service, Sky Q. Though the concept of fluid viewing has failed to resonate with consumers, premium content in 4K such as Premier League will drive awareness, appetite and enhance their viewing experience. As we’ve said repeatedly, Sky’s close relationship with content and rights owners still puts it in a far stronger position than its competitors. The announcement is well-timed with Monday’s announcement from EE making BT Sport available to selected mobile customers. But, more importantly, it comes when all providers will start to heavily promote their respective multi-play bundles ahead of the new Premier League football season. It’s going to be a very busy second half of the year with Sky’s entry into mobile, Vodafone’s debut in TV and Virgin Media’s new set-top box. Sky’s latest move throws down the gauntlet to others, so let battle commence.”
Strategy Analytics’ David Mercer (Principal Analyst – Digital Consumer Practice) estimates that 1.7 million UK homes, 6 per cent of the population, currently own an Ultra HD TV. “While audience numbers are likely to be low in the early days, since Sky Q has only recently launched, this is an important statement from the UK’s leading pay TV broadcaster that Ultra HD is here to stay and represents the future of television viewing. Sky has leapfrogged BT back into top spot with its Ultra HD launch, which is the most comprehensive Ultra HD service available in the UK, if not worldwide. BT will now be under pressure to expand its own Ultra HD offer,” he suggests.