TV customers of Sky – the owner of Sky News – and BT will soon be able to buy the content of both firms through their provider as part of a so-called cross supply deal that has been years in the making.
Under the terms of the agreement, BT will market and sell Sky’s Now TV service – including the Sky Atlantic, Sky One, Sky Living, Sky Sports and Sky Cinema channels – to its customers.
BT will wholesale its BT Sport channels to Sky, allowing the firm to sell them directly to Sky customers.
The move is expected to become effective in early 2019 as the UK entertainment market grapples with the challenge posed by the likes of streaming services Amazon and Netflix.
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Sky and BT are fierce competitors in several areas of the entertainment and communications sectors – particularly in the race to secure live TV sports rights.
Image: Sky’s CEO Jeremy Darroch sees the deal broadening access to his company’s entertainment offering
While Sky holds the majority of Premier League fixtures currently available for broadcast, BT has the Champions League.
Sky’s chief executive, Jeremy Darroch, said: “This is great news for Sky customers who will be able to access all matches on Sky and BT channels from the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Europa League directly with a single Sky TV subscription and with the great customer service that we provide.
“UK consumers will have even more ways to watch great Sky entertainment content with our leading portfolio of channels – Sky Atlantic, Sky One and Sky Living – available on all major Pay-TV platforms for the first time.
“This is all part of our stated strategy to enhance our customer offering, to broaden our appeal and to open up new revenue streams for our business.”
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His counterpart at BT, Gavin Patterson, said: “This is an important day for BT and for our customers, who will be able to enjoy a whole range of Sky’s sport and entertainment programming on their BT TV boxes.”This is the next logical step for our TV and content strategy. Having built up an outstanding portfolio of exclusive sports rights and a loyal base of customers, we feel that now is the right time to broaden the ways in which we distribute BT Sport.
“This agreement fits with our strategic goal of being the best provider in the UK of converged network services, and adding NOW TV boosts our growing roster of outstanding content from the likes of Netflix, great pay channels like AMC and all the major catch-up services.”