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Sky Announces NOW TV, an On-Demand Pay As You Go Rival to Netflix

Sky has announced a brand new way to watch TV content online with NOW TV, a direct rival to the likes of Netflix and Lovefilm, which offers Sky programming to watch on a pay as you go basis.

The company’s Chief Media Executive, Jeremy Darroch, announced the new streaming TV service this morning at The Guardian’s Changing Media Summit event in London.

With NOW TV you won’t need to be a Sky subscriber to watch what you want, and it’s based on a pay as you go model, so you can simply pay for what you want to watch. Sky says the service will be available on a range of different devices when it launches this summer, though it didn’t specify exactly what. We’re certain that there will be a website version for PC, Mac and Laptop users, and most likely apps for both iOS and Android to boot.

When NOW TV launches it will initially only offer movies to view on-demand, but will later expand to include Sky’s sports programming and various entertainment shows. There’s no contract or installation fee for the service, as Darroch explained this morning, although customers can opt to pay for access to the content on a monthly basis. With the promise of no tie-downs with NOW TV, we can imagine this would be a on a monthly rolling basis, allowing customers to start and end their subscription payments at any time with a one month notice, as is the norm.

NOW TV becomes another name in the relatively new market of on-demand streaming video. Speaking at today’s event, Jeremy Darroch explained why Sky has decided to launch such a service:

As the quality of the TV experience over broadband has improved, people have become more willing to consume content in different ways.

“That presents a great opportunity to distribute our programmes which wasn’t there even a year or two ago. With the long-awaited explosion of connected devices now upon us, this opportunity is only going to grow. And it’s something we believe is highly complementary to our existing service.

“Today, we know that around 13 million homes don’t yet take pay TV from any provider. So we can reach out to them and offer them another way to access and watch our content.”

Sky will launch NOW TV this summer, though it hasn’t yet confirmed exactly when. We’d be surprised if they don’t encounter some legal troubles with the name before then, as NOW TV just so happens to be an established television channel in China!

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