Sky will be hoping to enchant kids this half-term with a new deal to make the whole of the Harry Potter franchise available to watch online and on demand.
The agreement with Warner Bros. will give Sky the exclusive streaming rights to all eight movies in the UK, with everything from Harry’s first day at Hogwarts through to the final showdown with Lord Voldemort in Deathly Hallows Part 2 available to Sky Movies customers. Non-Sky customers will also be able to stream the collection through NOW TV, Sky’s contract-free VOD platform, which offers live and on-demand access to all of Sky’s movie line-up for £9.99 a month.
The Harry Potter movie collection will be available from Saturday 24th October, with Sky renaming one channel to “Sky Movies Harry Potter” until Monday 2nd November – although the movies will be available to watch for 12 months.
Sky Movies will also show never before seen on UK TV extended versions of Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets, plus behind the scenes specials from the franchise.
Ian Lewis, Director of Sky Movies says: “We are thrilled to be able to bring the wizarding world of Harry Potter to our customers, all in one place so they can enjoy the magic of this timeless story whenever and wherever it suits them.”
The Harry Potter movie collection is part of Sky’s multi-year agreement with Warner Bros., meaning Sky Movies and NOW TV users are the first to watch current Warner Bros. movies at least one year before other subscription services.
The move follows a growing focus upon young audiences from SVOD services. According to Ofcom’s most recent figures, one in three kids aged between 5 and 15 own a tablet, while the proportion of children watching TV on a tablet has also risen by a third in a year to 20 per cent. One third watch TV on-demand.
In response, Netflix has commissioned a whole heap of original content, YouTube has its own kids’ app, independent SVOD service Hopster, which provides shows and educational games, has gone international, and Amazon has introduced its own rival kids’ subscription service and dedicated tablet. Earlier this year, Sky also announced its own child-friendly app and the expansion of its kids’ on-demand library, adding shows such as Adventure Time and Spongebob Squarepants to both Sky+ boxes and NOW TV’s line-up, taking the total number of kids’ episodes from 700 to 4,000.
The Harry Potter films are currently unavailable on subscription VOD in the UK. You can buy or rent them all on pay-per-view VOD, including Google Play, TalkTalk TV Store, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video and Wuaki.tv.