Should sky worry? Should they change?

pinkhelmets

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Tv viewing in the uk is changing, and fast. Freeview has been a huge success and now has more users than sky has. Broadband & downloads are also creating less demand for the pay-tv content as more people just select what they want; Internet movie hire or purchase, legitimate or illegal is not the point, its the fact that people are doing this at ever increasing rate. Digital switch-over and High Definition is also helping force fast change across the nation.

Do Sky need to change something, and fast?

Without doubt sky have had the monopoly and full control over our choice of TV, but could that dominant control now bite back and hit them hard? Over the past decade Sky have collected 400 million pounds just from broadcasters being on their EPG, just for having a channel number listed in the box software, not for the additional costs to broadcast! This kind of control has resulted in other channel broadcasters desperately in need of another platform as an alternative to show their channels. The monopoly doesnt just hit sky subscribers who pay more than any other subscribers in Europe.

BBC & ITV are now to provide that new platform in the form of Freesat, a non-profit based alternative. Broadcasters are signing up to make their channels available on the NEW Freesat EPG, and since the service will be subscription free it provides lots of choice at low cost to the end user. More channel choice than freeview, integrated internet downloads, Free High Definition channels, Free Pvr (no charge like Sky+)..... you can see the appeal.

At the end of the day broadcasters need viewers to get advertisers, so broadcasting free gives a great opportunity to gain viewers, with perhaps the extra benefit of much lower cost EPG charges! So all the extra benefits that Freesat brings to consumers is our bonus, but its not the first consideration on the list for broadcasters & advertisers.

Lets face facts, sky are greedy and have abused the monopoly they have held. Virgin recently told them to stuff their channels that Sky were demanding so much for, so how long will it be before other broadcasters tell them to stick their EPG and monopoly power? How long before broadcasters add new channels exclusively to Freesat, just like ITV are proposing with their new HD channel? Virgin, Ch4, BBC, ITV and many more broadcast companies have all had their hands burnt and now firmly stand on the opposite side of the fence to Sky.

Many subscribers stay with Sky for channels or content that isnt elsewhere, such as Documentaries, Nat Geo, Discovery etc. Yet in reality these channels each get less than 0.1% of the national viewing figures. Would any normal person really warrant the amount uk subscription costs for these only? Subscribers that stay for special content like Lost, US progs, movies or Premiership games, are also defecting to alternative options in growing numbers ~foriegn sat, or internet again....

The fact is, Freesat seems to have much to offer as an alternative and if broadcasters jump ship so will subscribers. The more of the public that buy Freesat = the broadcasters will certainly jump ship. Sky offering free broadband to subscribers will not be enough, they really need a complete rethink of their value and worth, they need to win back some friends.
 

digidude

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nice post pinky

i personally think the next 12 months are going to be VERY rocky for sky, theyre going to have to come up with something special for EXISTING customers for a change or their churn rate is going to rocket

multiroom subscriptions, increasing basic subscriptions, more events being made PPV, pub rates increasing by 12% per year, they have near enough saturated the market, where i llive id say that 80% of their 'new' subscribers are also counted as churn ;) (nice for me lol), the karen murphy case is also going to go against them, even if she loses theres the Eu courts, then sky know theyre in the sh1t

going to be interesting times ahead for the pay tv market, and exciting times ahead for the free to air tv market
 

crazy

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An interesting article here as well.

http://www.connectedtv.eu/date/2008/05/

As I'm sure we all know Sky won't just sit back and let Freesat steal its low end customer base.

Whenever Sky has faced competition before (BSB & ITV/ONDigital) it has squeezed them out of the market normally on price as they have the reserves to do it.

I'm sure if Freesat does start to take money out of Sky's large pockets then up the sleeves of the Murdoch clan will be some tricks and surprises.

Free Sky +, Free Sky One - who knows? But as they say competition is good for the consumer - short term anyway!

Ding Ding - Round 1

Edit: first upper cut from Sky

https://www.digitalworldz.co.uk/index.php?threads/175886/
 
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digidude

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sky+ is already down to 25 quid for new customers, if they gave free sky one, then every FTA sat receiver would be able to get it, the only way they could do it would be to soft encrypt it like channel 5 and sky three are via sat at the moment, but if a freesat box is released with card/cam slot then im sure a patch of sorts will be found for it as a work around to this (if its not in the official firmware to begin with)
 

crazy

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sky+ is already down to 25 quid for new customers, if they gave free sky one, then every FTA sat receiver would be able to get it, the only way they could do it would be to soft encrypt it like channel 5 and sky three are via sat at the moment, but if a freesat box is released with card/cam slot then im sure a patch of sorts will be found for it as a work around to this (if its not in the official firmware to begin with)

Are you able to mix Freesat and Setanta like Freeview?

That could be a popular mix for people on a budget?

Looking at the boxes on the argos site I didn't see any with PVR cababilties, will they not be available at launch?
 

SiKinn

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What we need is another device like the old TIVO which was squashed out of the market by sky. if there was a decent alternative to sky+/V+ it would be intresting to see how they would react.
 

pinkhelmets

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Pvr is not available yet but is due in the summer (i'd guess late summer). The pvr option will really give an option to sky+/v+.

The sky 'upper cut' isnt much of a responce yet but I realise its cos freesat isnt completely ready yet. At present the offer just competes against Freesat's minimum £50 cost, but it just provides short trial access to some basic sky pay channels.
~After the trial you then still have to trawl through all the mass of sky channels that no longer work to find your free ones, you still wont have HiDef option, you still dont get iplayer/kangaroo access, you still DO get the sales calls/post trying to sell sky services, you still have very limited sky branded hardware, you still wont have subscription free pvr.
Thing is that my point isnt about how much better Freesat can be over sky, its more that sky need to start seeing some reality. Channel broadcasters are as much the key to success, as are advertisers, as are viewers.

Cutting the amount of sky one viewers continues to cost them a huge amount, around 80 million a year; attempting to buy into ITV cost them a hundred million; continuing to demand so much from everyone around them is going to cost them millions too. Its time to back down and realise what they have is just not worth what they ask, its time to back down, apologise to virgin, offer better deals all round, win some friends back.
 

jaffa

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theyre going to have to come up with something special for EXISTING customers for a change or their churn rate is going to rocket

They have...Gladiators....pmsl.


Should Sky worry ??? I think they have been worried for years now.

Should Sky change ??? Only if they dont want to collapse completely.

We have a lot to thank Sky for becuase imho they changed the way we watch t.v and their sports coveraged also revolutionised sport on t.v....but their greed will be their downfall if they dont do something.
 

witchy

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Sky's response to Freesat will be to increase subscription costs! :)
 

jamrop

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Do not like how sky work, i am very tempted for Freesat, and will get it, HD is a huge selling point for me

I still can not believe that if you record a movie and you cancel sky movie package, you lose that recording. Really bad imo, and that is why never will get Sky

As for iplayer, downloading movies, online on demand, itunes still do not see that the future, until get it on our tvs with affordable devices and no crap drm.


They say online downloading will kill blueray etc, but i like having physical stuff :p
 

jamrop

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Heard that sky are giving away Free Sky+, Free Installation (New Customers Only) in Sheffield

Countermeasure? :p
 
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