Sky and Sony Pictures Television have signed a new deal that will give Sky subscribers streaming access to the studio’s titles over a year before any other subscription service.
The agreement is the first multi-territory deal with a major Hollywood movie studio that Sky has negotiated – previously, Sky and Sony Pictures Television have negotiated agreements on a territory-by-territory basis.
Wbat does it mean for Sky users in the UK? Not very much: although the deal covers multiple territories, Sky and Sony say they will “continue to deliver films in a way that preserves the local characteristics of each market”. But the deal is a big blow to rivals such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, with Sky’s strengthening clutch of exclusive windows continuing to place Sky Movies ahead of other premium movie streaming services. By including customers in Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy, Sky and Sony’s deal is also a sign of how expansive the competition between subscription services has become, as Netflix’s global presence forces other companies to adopt similarly international strategies.
The deal covers Sky’s transactional movie service in the UK, too: Sky Store customers will also be able to rent and, where available, buy all of Sony’s new releases and classic titles, including, for the first time, any UHD productions.
As a result of the agreement, Sky customers can look forward to major new films including Ghostbusters, Angry Birds, Money Monster and Inferno. Every year, Sony delivers some of the biggest global box office hits, including the Spiderman franchise, Captain Phillips, Hotel Transylvania 2, The Fifth Wave and Goosebumps. As well as all the latest blockbusters, Sky customers can enjoy an expanded on-demand library with hundreds of much-loved films ranging from Lawrence of Arabia, Philadelphia and Close Encounters of the Third Kind to major franchises such as Men in Black and The Karate Kid.
Subscribers to NOW TV, Sky’s contract-free service for non-Sky customers, will also get access to all of the Sony titles available on Sky Movies, as part of their £9.99 monthly subscription.