Changes over on the continent mark a change in the way Sky offers its services.
Sky’s German division has relaunched its subscription packages – no HD surcharges, cheaper options and no long-term contracts.
It’s reacting to changes in the way consumers want to purchase access to pay TV services, with flexible rolling contracts and customization becoming the norm.
Pricing for new and existing customers is being unified; HD, Sky Go and a Sky Q receiver will be included with all new packages in Germany, and all contracts will switch to a rolling monthly contract after an initial 12 month period. Longer term contracts of 18 or 24 months, often once used to tie consumers to the service in return for an initial freebie are no longer in use. Subscribers will have an option after twelve months to request a new annual contact and pay less, or do nothing and be automatically switched to a slightly more expensive monthly rolling contract. Sky Cinema can be added from €10 a month.
It follows several years of consolidation for the platform, which has seen numerous smaller third-party channels jettisoned in favour of a core offer of Sky-branded channels and a small selection of services from other broadcasters, including Discovery and Fox. Technologically, Sky’s German and Austrian service has long since moved to an all MPEG4 service, meaning SD-only receivers are incompatible with the service.
The changes follow the recent announcement that Sky will be launching localised versions of Sky Comedy, Sky Crime, Sky Documentaries, Sky Nature and Sky Sports F1 in Austria and Germany, further harmonising its brands across European markets under the ownership of Comcast.