Sky’s European division has axed ad breaks on some of its general entertainment channels as viewer balk at the idea of adverts on paid-for channels.
What could have been an April fool’s joke is true: from 1st April, viewers in Austria and Germany can now watch channels including Sky One, Sky Comedy and Sky Crime without ad-breaks in the middle of a programme. Adverts had only been introduced in recent years, part of a common look, feel and branding to be achieved across all of Sky’s European businesses. But subscribers took exception to the concept of watching adverts on channels they had already had to pay for.
In announcing the move, Sky said it wanted to offer viewers a “better experience”. The ad-interruption free service brings the broadcaster in line with other subscription services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
As a result, Sky viewers in Austria and Germany can now enjoy their favourite programmes in shorter timeslots. For example, four episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine in under 1 hour 40 minutes, or an episode of Hawaii Five-0 to fit in under 45 minutes.
No such plans are currently on the agenda for Sky’s UK and Republic of Ireland channels. This week, Sky will be launching a dedicated Republic of Ireland feed for both Sky Arts and Sky Nature, in order to offer bespoke commercial breaks for audiences.