BSkyB announces internet TV service

 

Broadcaster BSkyB started the fightback against competition Netflix and YouView today as it announced a new internet TV service.

Launching in the first half of this year, the service will be aimed at the 13 million households who do not subscribe to pay-TV.

It will initially allow customers to pay to download films without a contract or a satellite dish but will expand its offer to include sport and entertainment soon afterwards.

Sky's TV sales will face growing competition with the launch in the summer of YouView, an internet-connected set-top box involving the BBC, ITV and BT.

And the recent expansion into the UK of Netflix, which allows customers to pay to download movies, and the Lovefilm download and rental business adds a further threat to its model.

The new service was announced as Sky revealed a further slowdown in the number of households that signed up to its TV services to 40,000 in the three months to December 31, down from 140,000 in the same period a year ago.

However, underlying profits grew 16% to a record £601 million in the six months to December 31 as it sold more telephony and broadband packages to existing customers. Revenues rose 6% to £3.4 billion.

Sky also announced it is to create 1,300 jobs over the next two years in the UK and Ireland as it brings more of its customer service and installation work in-house and opens a new service centre in Dublin.

Chief executive Jeremy Darroch denied that the business was threatened by the growth of online businesses such as Netflix and Lovefilm.

He added: "I don't see it threatening our business at all. It's further evidence that this is an exciting market and lots of people see opportunities in it.

"We have competed in the last few decades against all competitors."

Sky said the new service will allow customers to pay to watch its content on devices connected to the internet, including PCs, laptops, smartphones, games consoles and TVs.

It will allow customers to choose whether to pay monthly, or rent a movie on a pay-as-you-go basis, it added.

Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown Stockbrokers, said: "Amidst all the Netflix noise comes a reminder that Sky is not about to give up its crown lightly.

"The launch of its online offering further complements its existing technical reach alongside the potential for new customers."

He said Sky's results were "solid" but concerns lingered that it faces fierce competition and there has also been speculation that it could be outbid for the rights to show Premiership football.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Marketing Executive - B2B - OTE £25,000

£17000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity to join this new...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £21000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Recruitment Genius: Business Control Manager

£36000 - £44000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Encouraging more businesses to ...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower