Sky is reportedly considering withdrawing its NOW TV service from YouView.
The set-top box platform, backed by a consortium that includes BBC and ITV, is the tech of choice for BT and TalkTalk TV packages, with its blend of traditional TV guide and catch-up services. NOW TV, which allows live streaming and catch-up access to Sky’s TV channels and movies catalogue, has been present on the box for some time. However, it is only the on-demand part of the service that is currently available.
Now, The Telegraph reports that Sky is frustrated by this inability to provide a full service, despite the apparent £250,000 annual fee it costs to make NOW TV available through YouView. The contract is up for renewal in August 2015, when Sky is thought to be considering to cancel the agreement altogether.
NOW TV has become increasingly crucial in the past year, thanks to the introduction of Entertainment Passes, which allow non-Sky customers to stream TV shows such as Mad Men and Game of Thrones live – and legally – in the UK for the first time. If NOW TV were to withdraw from YouView, it would leave BT TV and TalkTalk customers severely lacking in modern TV’s most popular show.
A Sky spokesperson, though, has said that they are “committed to giving YouView customers the full Now TV experience and have been working with YouView management to achieve this”, while YouView’s representative told the newspaper that the relationship was “ongoing”, with both parties “committed to the relationship”.