Pay-TV giant Sky is to make its full service of 270 channels available without the need for a satellite dish for the first time, as it looks to win back customers who have defected to rivals such as BT.
The groundbreaking launch is expected to be rolled out in 2018, and will see households who cannot - or will not - have a satellite dish enjoy SKY TV, with the service delivered via a box over broadband.
It follows a successful response to Sky Q with more than one million boxes in around 600,000 homes in the UK, leading to customers watching 10 per cent more TV compared to those with Sky +.
“This is the first time we have been able to offer the full Sky TV service without a satellite dish,” said Sky group CEO Jeremy Darroch. “It is a big moment for the business.”
The initiative comes after Sky saw an 18 per cent drop in profits at its UK business in the last six months of 2016, thanks to spiralling Premier League rights costs.
Sky also announced a new My Sky app for customers, which will allow customers to check their bills, broadband speeds and other account options, as well as receive customer support and How-To videos and articles.
“This year is about giving our customers even more quality, choice and value,” said Stephen van Rooyen, Sky UK’s Chief Executive.
“We’re planning to launch our Sky TV service without the need for a satellite dish for the very first time, giving millions more homes the chance to enjoy TV with Sky Q.
“We are continuing to build our European TV production studio, with 100 original series going into production. And with innovations like the My Sky app, we are finding new ways to make our customers’ lives simpler.”
Sky Q launched on February 9 last year, bringing more on-demand content and a new, image-led user interface to viewers.
As well as putting more focus on catch-up and downloadable content, Sky Q allows users pause content on their main TV and start playing it again exactly where they left off on a second TV or tablet.
It was also Sky’s first service to offer Ultra-High Definition (UHD) content with movies and live sports available to watch in 4K.