NOW is increasing some of its prices, but subscribers thinking of moving should wait until other pay TV operators implement their price rises.
Subscribers wanting access to full HD streaming quality or want to access Sky Sports through NOW will bear the brunt of the latest round of increases.
NOW will increase the cost of its monthly Boost by 20% from £5 to £6 at the end of February. The NOW Boost allows viewers to watch channels and on-demand programmes in full HD, plus ad-free on-demand streaming and improved sound quality.
Meanwhile, the NOW Sports Monthly Membership, which includes access to all Sky Sports channels will increase to £34.99 a month.
It’s part of a wider strategy by NOW’s owner Sky to increase revenue per customer through extra add-on charges. It follows unpopular charges imposed on Sky Glass/Sky Stream customers if they want to fast-forward adverts.
NOW has fewer options to monetise add-ons, as the service can be accessed on a wide variety of independent devices. As a result, it is more sensitive to subscribers being able to leave. On the other hand, products like Sky Glass gives Sky control over both hardware and software, allowing it to charge extra to unlock routine features on the device. Leaving is not an option without turning the smart TV into a dumb device.
Sky is due to confirm its annual price rises for satellite, streaming, broadband and telephony customers in the next few weeks. Meanwhile Virgin Media, which does include features like HD by default, is about to impose an average price rise of over 13%, although it hasn’t yet provided a specific breakdown of charges due from April.
BT and TalkTalk are also applying price rises within weeks.
As a result, viewers eager to cancel NOW may want to wait. Some providers have been attracting new customers with special rates that mask the impending rise. When the special rate ends, customers face going up to, not the originally advertised full price, but the new price, valid after April. For example, anyone tempted to sign up for an 18 month-contract will see two above-inflation price rises (April 2023 and April 2024) built in to their contract.
Anyone switching in April on a 12 month contract will come to the end of the contract just as the new price rise is due. On an 18 month contract, there would only be one price rise built in.
Sky is part of Comcast, who last week reported less than enthusiastic results at Sky. Revenues at Sky have continued to fall.